Flecks of leaves and sun dust the water –
molasses-brown haze of mud and mangroves,
roots curve in cobwebbed barks.
Wood ducks and song birds summon her,
pink flush just beginning to stipple eggs,
nests etched into cups of twig and straw.
Winter’s mourning wanes.
An egret nods once then pierces
the stillness, a rhythm of ripples spinning –
a moccasin lifts its head, s of its body coiling…
shadow shifting in the root-twisted earth.
In the beginning was darkness
and then came the light.
KB Ballentine’s sixth collection, The Light Tears Loose,
appeared this summer with Blue Light Press. Published in Crab Orchard
Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, among others, her work also
appears in anthologies including Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of
Peace (2017) and In Plein Air (2017). Learn more at