La Llorona Rests Her Feet in the Creek
The mountain lions always come to me
in pairs at night, heads low,
with ears peeled back, contrite.
They hear their own mothers
tucked away in my screams,
so walk the banks with me
as penance. I envy the satisfaction they feel
after they’ve eaten. Their stomachs
hang low to ground,
and their eyes close slower each blink.
Air rumbles inside their ribs.
Blood dries on their pelts.
I pray for time to pass like this for me,
for my heart to calm its fire,
this creek to wash my wounds clean.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature and directs the Louisiana Literature Press. His latest collections are Elliptic (Yellow Flag Press, 2016), Revenant (Blue Horse Press, 2016), and No Brother, This Storm (Mercer University Press, Fall 2018). He has recently been appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to serve as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.