Down by the bay

Where the watermelons grow,

Back to my home,

I dare not go. . .



I purse my lips and spit black

seeds, drum the water

melons till their hearts beat

back. Mosquitos vex me none,

I’m easy in my blood and thick-

skinned. I linger saltily, dusk-bound

and free from wagging fingers

and the circles she’d ring round me

if I returned. The fancies she wants

to plant in my head, well,

I grow my own. I’ve stared at the sun

all day because she told me not to,

and now I can’t go home. Or I’m holding

my little hands up to my eyes

and she’s pretending not to see me.

Allison Barrett has poems published in Fourteen Hills Review and cream city review as well as poems forthcoming in The National Poetry Review. She received her MFA from Cornell University and has since then been (slowly) writing poems in between raising three small children and working full-time.