by Sarah Frances Moran

My mother and grandmother told vivid
horror stories of the Brazos River.
They were tales ripe with superstition.

One of them involved seeing the devil jump
from the bank,
into the murky water; laughing maniacally.
Just a red elbow going in as the splash went up.

I consider this river and this small central town
my home.
A transplant to a land ripe with religious innuendo.

This is the river I kayak.
The river that runs through the city where
my love is rooted.
The river that takes my breath away at sunset.

If the devil swims these waters,
he must consider me a friend.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I live in Waco, Texas. I’m a native Houstonian, but have quickly fallen in love with my surroundings here. One of my favorite parts of Waco is the Brazos River. It’s beautiful. It’s majestic and it’s slightly frightening. Kayaking the river is one of my favorite pastimes. My poem pays homage to the stories my grandmother and mother use to tell me. In fact, the first time I ever kayaked the river my mother was horrified and worried. Superstition is a powerful thing.

PHOTO: “Brazos River” (Waco, Texas) by Sarah Frances Moran (taken from her kayak).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sarah Frances Moran began writing in the ninth grade out of a desire to help others, and her writing has evolved into full-blown insistence on changing the world. Her aim is to poetically fight for love and harness the type of tender violence needed to push love forward. She strongly believes that words have immeasurable power. Originally from Houston, Texas, she moved to Waco pursuing love. She was recently chosen as the featured poet for the Waco Poet’s Society and The Word Gallery.  Her work has appeared in Catching Calliope, The Bitchin Kitsch, Harbinger Asylum, Digital Papercut, eFiction India, The Boston Poetry Magazine’s online zine and will also be featured in their Spring 2015 issue. Her work is equal parts frustration, hope, anger, advocacy, and love. At the heart of it, she’s a stick-a-love-poem-in-your-back-pocket kind of poet. She’s a huge advocate for animal welfare and works daily to combat pet overpopulation. She resides in Waco, Texas, with her partner and their menagerie of four-legged critters. You can reach Sarah on her website or on Facebook.