In pulsings of
Amniotic waves, she kicked in place,
Flipping fins with digits extended.
Belly down on blue-green
Seaweed tangles of the living room floor,
Like an upturned turtle,
She waited for the tide
To carry her to the sea.
She points to the rock shaped like a platform
at the promontory tip and lowers goggles
over spot-flecked skin,
above goldfish eyes.
Frog-like, she leaps.
Walking the fencerow over frozen ground,
She tests her arms against the March wind,
One over the other
In a tight front crawl,
Racing for the gate.
Under the surface she becomes
Like the rest something other, a creature
Who senses some ancient tug
In the cells of her hands,
In her lungs.
Her body is 70 percent water.
She is a small, compact lake
into which swimmers dive from a bluff
and do laps around the thirty percent island
guarded by a chain-link fence.
After a swim in the creek,
Running in lush grass cresting above her head
White-capped by wind,
She leaps above waves
as if lunging for air
Before diving below again.
She paddles in a pond
Surrounded by rolling hills,
Once the bed of an ancient inland sea.
In mist, ghost fish
glide above her.
Tethys, Greek goddess of earth’s fresh waters,
Was mother to three thousand daughters.
One now wades ashore
From the blinding surface,
Returning to this life.
~ Thomas Reynolds
Thomas Reynolds is an associate English professor at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in various print and online journals, including New Delta Review, Alabama Literary Review, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, The MacGuffin, Flint Hills Review, and Prairie Poetry. Woodley Press of Washburn University published his poetry collection Ghost Town Almanac in 2008. His chapbook The Kansas Hermit Poems was published in 2013.
Kelly W. Johnston, guest editor, is a life-long Kansan, who was born in Lawrence in 1955, and graduated from Wichita State in 1977 with a major in creative writing. He has published poems in Mikrokosmos, The Cottonwood Review, and The Ark River Review. He will publish two poems in the up-coming 2016 issue of The I-70 Review. Kelly loves to spend time on his land in the Chautauqua Hills near Cross Timbers State Park, where many of his poems are inspired.