What I Forgot to Say

Julie Suk is a prize-winning American poet from Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born Julie Madison Gaillard in 1924 in Mobile, Alabama, and attended Stephens College and the University of Alabama. Her six previous volumes of poetry are The Medicine Woman, Heartwood, The Angel of Obsession, The Dark Takes Aim, Lie Down With Me, and Astonished To Wake (Jacar Press, 2016). Julie’s poems have appeared in many literary journals including Ploughshares, Poetry, Triquarterly, Shenandoah, The Georgia Review and elsewhere.

HOW

How not to panic when undertow
claws you offshore,

how the manta ray
in the wave cresting overhead
is as fearful as you,
and in one black thrust heaves away,

leaving you to stroke, as taught,
diagonally towards land,

how to float rather than plow
into currents stronger than your will
which is no more
than a sun-sparked wave
that sooner or later crashes.

How to rise scraped but sound.