Monday, March 7, 2016

"Molly the Brave" by Jim Harrison

Photo: Jean Gregory Evans

                                                         Molly was the bravest
                                                         In April she would swing out
                                                         over the river on a rope
                                                         tied to an elm branch. There was still
                                                         ice along the bank and one day
                                                         her body was found down by the weir
                                                         with a bruised head, which meant she hit ice.
                                                         One summer evening she hugged me in her wet
                                                         black bathing suit after I brought her a milk shake.
                                                         My blood became hot and moved in all directions.
                                                         When we caught frogs to eat their legs
                                                         she said, ”We are animals.” And on the hill
                                                         by the river we illegally picked trillium.
                                                         All the boys wanted to marry her.
                                                         We kept putting the wildflowers she loved
                                                         on her grave. More than sixty years
                                                         later I see clearly--that no one gets over anything
                                                         least of all Molly by the river,
                                                         swinging up through the air—
                                                                                                                    a bird.

"Molly the Brave" by Jim Harrison from Dead Man's Float. © Copper Canyon Press, 2016.

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