Storm Surge — by Morgan O.H. McCune

I’m sure this time the world has me

wrecked. Cornered, filthy water rising

to my lips, I search for the boat, fireman,

enormous Newfoundland, a blow-up

raft miraculously trailing his wake—

or the dog, just the steady dog. Paddling

myself with numbing hands, I catch

the edge of a roof, realize it’s mine.


A dead fish stares as it kisses my

shoulder, then drifts away, listing,

and farther, the shadow of something

larger, bloated, spoked with rigid legs.

I close my eyes; the water rises.

In my mind, again, I write the line

that dangles from the helicopter,

grab it from my broken house.

~ Morgan O.H. McCune

Morgan O.H. McCune was born and raised in Topeka. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis (1991) and a Master of Library Science from Emporia State University (2002). She is currently working as a Cataloging Librarian, Associate Professor, at Pittsburg State University.

William Sheldon lives in Hutchinson, Kansas where he teaches and writes. His poetry and prose have been published widely in such journals as Blue Mesa Review, Columbia, New Letters, and Prairie Schooner. He is the author of two books of poetry, Retrieving Old Bones (Woodley, 2002) and Rain Comes Riding (Mammoth, 2011), as well as a chapbook, Into Distant Grass (Oil Hill, 2009). Retrieving Old Bones was a Kansas City Star Noteworthy Book for 2002 and is listed as one of the Great Plains Alliance’s Great Books of the Great Plains.


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