Finding Center | Nancy Christopherson

Finding Center | Nancy Christopherson

That boulder in the center of the gut.
Fish swim around it or idle quietly
fanning their tails in the pool on the slow
side of the river, river right. Right over
there. River left cuts in under that solid wall
which will drown you, keep you under
forever. The shoreline holds multiple
breakfasts and bits of flotsam washed up.
So many have passed. Open out that
bony jaw, look inside. The strictured
corset, Jonah’s whale. You may never
escape, but at least there is drizzle
and muddy water to swallow. The slow
current meanders through reeds in some places,
quicksand in others. Step here, it says,
sink down or swim. Die, what your father
used to say as he tossed you overboard
then laughed. Don’t worry, those toothy
boulders will capture your spirit once
they have crushed the sweet chambered heart.


Nancy Christopherson lives and writes in eastern Oregon. She spent many years living and working in northern Arizona and loves the Desert Southwest. She is the author of one book of poetry, The Leaf.  She has work forthcoming in the literary journal XANADU. Her latest manuscripts, tentatively named Canyon Poems, While the Moon Floats Ranch, and Lungfish Swallow Me Whole, are in the works.