Dreams from the Strand


I dreamt I was near the Yazoo,
and I was there when La Salle
stepped into the river, plagued.
We were native Natchez crouched
in tender reeds,
but by month’s end,
we rippled down the river—
a legion of fall leaves
come to rot and rest on the strand.


I reemerged somewhere near
the Tallahatchie River
in a sepia-toned town,
and made my way
like a grain of sand
carried down by the currents
past the Union’s sunken steamship,
Star of the West.

In Money, Mississippi,
I was stymied and struck
by a sunken cotton gin fan.
The lightning came down
that day and damned the stygian river.
I smelled the miry banks,
the moldered leaves,
and careened in the currents.


I was purged from the Tallahatchie
into the Yalobusha,
a fat channel cat
searching for a deep, cool pocket,
but found a silver Jon boat—
a fisherman’s catalpa hook.
I traded my gills for lungs,
the river a tenebrous womb,
and breathed mineral deep
until I was pulled out
on a stringer and slapped
on the batrachian bank.

I drank the water and saw everything
through new eyes,
and remembered all rivers,
all the golden temples,
and wicked cities,
and recognized I was home.

Nancy Correro calls the Mississippi Delta and Atlanta, GA home as she was raised equal portions in both places. Currently, she resides near the Chattahoochee Watershed in Roswell, GA and finds inspiration while hiking the Big Creek trails. She has an MFA from McNeese State University.