Straw

Nancy Anne Miller

The pink striped twirl, a merry go
round post, we have ridden 
in circles for ages, like the up 

down movement of waves, as
we floated above a semitropical 
glassy sea floor. Impervious to 

the sun’s gold ring we reached
for in holiday days. Like the suck
of a waterspout over South Shore 

comes in close, disturbs. Overheated, 
we have sipped away the ocean, 
in gulps, almost swallowed it whole. 

Secret Society

My Bermudian cousin says
make sure the windows have
locks as if they keep the outside 
view of hibiscus, frangipani secure.

I press the rental cottage’s digital code
to let myself in, feel I have
become a member of a secret society.
On Front Street in Hamilton, I hold 

my leather tote bag close like a shield, 
remove gold jewelry before going out, 
a habit I practiced as a child whenever 
I swam, so as not to attract Barracuda.

Become sensitive to dangers in my tropical
surroundings as Cephalopods 
receive light waves through 
turquoise waters in Harrington Sound.

I’ve come here to Paget to write,
pull down shades if at night, hide 
the computer’s glow in case of intruders,
like precautions used in a WWII Black Out.

When my mother read mail at the
British Navy Quarters. Deciphered 
hidden code by what was left out, 
much like island tourist propaganda.

Nancy Anne Miller is a Bermudian poet with seven collections. Boiling Hot (Kelsay Books 2018) is her latest. She is published in journals such as Edinburgh Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Salzburg Review, Agenda, Stand, The Fiddlehead, The Caribbean Writer. She is a MacDowell Fellow and Bermuda Arts Council Grant recipient.

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