You Cannot Fold a Flood

You cannot fold a Flood—
And put it in a Drawer—
—Emily Dickinson

She takes it up like a tablecloth,
lush eddies of swirl and silver, gives

it a shake, a housewife’s swift snap, setting
into flight Teal and Harlequin ducks, knives

and spoons and pewter dishes, gun-metal
gray, storm gray and clatter of

crockery, smash of glass
as the world breaks apart, her eye

reflected in shards of gravy boat
and sugar bowl, oars breaking in waves

dyed red as sunset, littered with livestock,
with fences and bridges, crackle

of lightning against fingertips
darting up her arms. The ricochet

as she folds the flood in half
and in half again, as she lays it shimmering down.

Bethany Reid's poetry has recently appeared in Cumberland River Review, Del Sol, Right Hand Pointing, Creative Colloquy, MacGuffin, and Cheat River Review. She has had poems nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Net anthologies, and her book, Sparrow, won the 2012 Gell Poetry Prize. She blogs at