Dam by Melissa Helton


Melissa Helton

The flood happened so gradually
we just learned to walk home
the other way.

Everything was water.

Dreams about dolphins meant
we were unoriginal
and liars.

Handprints of white flour
on her navy blue apron looked
like octopus.

Besides, what are the whispers of the cloistered worth?

The paperboy
on his bicycle
seemed so grown up.

And the sorrow we carry
can be mathematically figured.

© Melissa Helton

Melissa Helton is Associate Professor of English and Director of the honors program at a rural community college in southeast Kentucky. She earned her MFA in creative writing and now lives and writes on a subsistence farm in the mountains. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Motif v. 4, Pine Mountain Sand and Gravel, Still: The Journal, The Pikeville Review, The Notebook, and more.