Passage – a poem by L.B. Stringfellow


I heard the slap of river against the boat.
I was meant to cross the Nile
with my own thoughts carved
from the skeins of leaves.
My carriage was the scarves of reeds,
my temporal coffin, skin
of sarcophagus.
There were those on each side who guided me

across. There was no holding on to be done.
I was going as a bird might through wind.
I waited to be scoured clean,
to be bathed in natron, ibu.
But I was not

still. There was no other
sense I had so strongly
as that of movement.
Not the boat so much as my body.
Not a passing through so much as

the rush of what was eternal in me.


L.B. Stringfellow writes both verse and prose poetry, often exploring themes of transformation, woundedness, and interdependence in her poetry.  She grew up in the Southern US, has worked as a university instructor and as a professional tutor, and holds an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing.

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