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“Lineage or Lullaby”

I am at a loss
because I am at a doorway
and it is both my door and a child.
I am here and I am on
my grandmother’s lap
twenty years ago, and she is singing
a dry creekbed, because of course
she never sang, that was me. I am
singing and I am not ashamed
or worried about the sound,
my words are a crawdad
because I don’t know them,
but they pinch me anyhow, when
I walk through this. And if I am
back there and you are with me
and this is not just my story, but
my own little baby boy, and he is a stone,
and I am too, we are back in my great
grandfather’s pocket, and he is so hungry
he buries us in the dirt and hopes
we sprout a mess of beans.
And we do. And we will.

Sara Moore Wagner is the Cincinnati based author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Gulf Stream, Gigantic Sequins, Stirring, Reservoir, The Wide Shore, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and was a recent finalist for the Tishman Review’s Edna St Vincent Millay Prize. Find her at

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