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High Water

Catherine Parnell

The last of the ice splinters as the boat pounds through the choppy water. Spray rises in our wake, late spring wind pushes against our faces. One of us says, High this year, and points to the telltale water lines on the rocks. The channel marker bobs, the boat veers and turns and we swallow hard. We hold you, born in blinding white pain in autumn, in our arms. You are small, silent, you blink, crane your neck. It is that time of day when sky and water merge. The osprey circles above, chirping like a teakettle, and you lift your face, search the skies. Your fingers flex, your arms rise, you cluck and chirp, and the hawk dives, talons a fish and soars out of sight. You shift your gaze to us as if to ask a question and we reply, World.

Catherine Parnell is an editor, educator and co-founder of MicroLit Almanac and Birch Bark

Editing. Her publications include the memoir The Kingdom of His Will, as well as stories, essays and interviews in Hyacinth Review, Emerge (ELJ), Cult, Orca, Grande Dame, West Trade Review, Tenderly, Cleaver, Free State Review, Barnhouse, The Brooklyn Rail, The Rumpus, The Southampton Review, The Baltimore Review, and other literary magazines. She also works with Arrowsmith Press and the Florida Center for Governmental Accountability.

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