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Poem of the Week by Janet McNally

By Janet McNally

Grainy and aquatic, you moved on the wide screen

of the ultrasound, your fingers like anemones

in an amniotic sea. You were the real mermaid,

your limbs rippling like kelp, your feet a fishtail

pressing against my ribs. You learned the stories

you would later need, practiced speaking

a language without words. You opened your mouth

and swallowed; you dreamed of somersaults

and sighed into the water. When I finally held you,

you blinked your eyes at the light

and the air. Your mouth opened slowly, tongue searching

for the water, for the last perfect grains of salt.

Mama, you said. I had the strangest dream.

JANET MCNALLY will read from her new full-length collection of poetry “Some Girls,” winner of the 2014 White Pine Poetry Prize, at 7 p.m. Monday in Canisius College’s Grupp Fireside Lounge, located in the Richard E. Winter Student Center, 80 Hughes Ave. A graduate of the MFA writing program at the University of Notre Dame and a two-time recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in fiction (most recently in 2015), she is an assistant professor of English and teaches creative writing at Canisius College.