We washed up alone in the world, Deucalion and I.
And to make our army of children the gods say
we must toss my mother’s bones behind us,
over our shoulders like salt. This is a grief
I cannot bear. But you say if the earth is my mother,
and her bones the seeds we stone the earth with,
then these are our children, that rise from the dust
of our desecrations, that rise from the true marriage
of faith we’ve thrown. And they do rise, veins into veins,
skin into skin, breathing and beating the ground
with their limbs. After the flood, though they fight,
fire and water create all things–as we do. Out of
that battle, that harmony. Out of that sorrow, delight.

[Neile Graham write: I am a Canadian writer living in Seattle, WA, and am workshop director for the Clarion West Writers Workshop. My publications include three full-length print collections, most recently Blood Memory, and a CD, She Says: Poems Selected & New, and poems in various journals, including Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.]