Vision at the Blue Hole in Winslow Woods

Max McDonough

The pines drop a cone or two into the pool.
They’re throwing buoys
to the woman I see facedown in the freezing
bottomless water.
The night’s fog-tangle thickens with iron, listening.

No bat chatter or deer rustle. No fish skitter.
No insects swirling infinitesimal
shadows overhead. If she
is dead, if she is dying—does it matter which?
My feet curl like claws in the sugar sand. I think
she is my mother. But I can’t see her face.

My heart’s a headcase.
Ghost of her fist pressed
to my sternum she’s saying
what she says.
All I can do is listen
as the water’s magnetic ruptured surface
clears, if it does. The pine cones
bloat like ulcers, then sink,
sucking me down with the voice of my mother.