I Learn to Shoot a Bow

A poem for Sunday

Sunlight sparkling on the ripples in a dark body of water
Lisa Edi / Connected Archives

It is no River Jordan that flows here
between the railroad tracks and the back porch.
It’s a canal. Not unlike my mother:
low as it want to be and fullest when
it rains. Existing for however long
without a name, and flowing
under a timber bridge that we built. We built that.
Isn’t that our story? To be denied
the beginning. I cross the bridge to shoot
a sapling bow my grandfather has carved.
He helps me aim into cardboard flats stacked
against the willow. I guess this is where
I am Orion. With two birth stories.
In one story I come from a sea god
with the forest as my mother, and in
the other, I have no mother at all