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Daughters Lost or Drowning

When the small silkie

sped toward our legs

as we waded

and strangers called

“Look!” and asked

“Is it yours?"

as though we


went walking



with seals,

I jumped from her path,

but you stayed

while she made two circles

of your bare ankles,

then darted away

leaving nothing,

no ripple.

“One year,” a man told us,

"one came in

like that. Next day

the mother washed up

on shore."

At night I dream

our daughter

is small again,

white face framed

by the silk of her hair.

She rides the water

as high as our eyes,

makes it easy to catch her,

to circle her,

just like a net.

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