At Middle Falls
by Tamara Madison

Icy water drops
from the rocks
in sheets

We swim like otters
in the pool the falls
have filled

How hot the sun
How sweet the water
My children near

PHOTO: Middle McCloud Falls (Siskiyou County, California). Photo by Adri.


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is about a camping trip to the McCloud River, near Mount Shasta, California. There was a heat wave that week, and the campground had no showers. Fortunately, the cold mountain water was always available and we loved swimming laps in the pool below the falls. The photo of me and my son jumping in was taken at a different spot along the river on that same trip.

tamara m

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tamara Madison is a native of the California desert. A retired teacher of English and French, she is a well-traveled lover of nature, dogs and water. Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Chiron Review, The Writers Almanac, The Worcester Review, Pearl, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, and many others. She’s the author of two chapbooks and two full-length collections of poetry, with two more in the wings. More about Tamara can be found at