Phyllis Hemann

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When a fish separates
from water,

it’s body whips back
and forth, convulses
desperate to find liquid.

I’m pretty sure, I look
like this from above.

I watch the fish flailing
and wonder: should I
show it the way?

Will it follow? Understand? Resent
not discovering water on its own
after trying with every fiber and nerve
in its being?

Or will I return to it, a husk dried
mere inches from mercy.

Phyllis Hemann writes and teaches in Arkansas. She holds a M.F.A. from Antioch University Los Angeles and B.A.’s from University of Arkansas at Little Rock and St. Gregory’s University. Her work has appeared in newspapers, journals and anthologies. She is the author of THE INVISIBLE HEROINE (Finishing Line Press). Find her online at

Photo by Chevanon Photography on

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