Old Rivers, Lynn Ciesielski

Lynn Ciesielski

At fourteen, Jen stole sips of sangria from jugs
her father had in the basement.
She heard that children drink early in France.
Wine helped her jet around the globe,
grapes bursting fervid on her tongue.

Today she confiscates vodka from her teen daughter,
who says she just had a couple.
She cites tales of Jen’s youth,
You did the same thing, didn’t you, Mom?
Jen hides the words near her heart
alongside memories of hangover mornings,
slurred words, embarrassing outbursts.

I bet you want to restrain her, pull her to shore,
save her, Jen’s mother says.
She hands her some wood, tells her,
You will carve oars together.
Every day I learn a new stroke.

Author’s Comment: When I was a teenager getting into trouble, my mother often warned me that someday I’d have a daughter just like me. Of course, I just rolled me eyes as teenagers often do. When my own daughter got to that age and had some problems, I expected my mom to say, “I told you so”. Instead, she always had some words of wisdom and compassion to offer. I hope that I can be so loving when my daughter has discipline problems with her children.

Bio: After teaching Special Ed in NY schools for over eighteen years, Lynn Ciesielski retired to spend her time writing, traveling with her husband and enjoying her grandchildren. Her first chapbook, I Speak in Tongues was released this year by Foothills Publishing. She has been in Iodine Poetry Journal, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and Drown In My Own Fears.

3 thoughts on “Old Rivers, Lynn Ciesielski

    • Thank you so much. I’m actually going to hear Michael read at South Steuben Library in Corning, NY on Saturday, August 18. I’d love to read some of your work sometime. My website it:


      • Lynn — So good to hear back from you. Say hello to Michael for me when you see him. HE and I have been in touch but I’ve yet to see him since the fire, although I did hold a fund-raiser for him in Brockport at a poetry reading.

        When he’s back up to speed with FootHills I’ll have to get a copy of your work. Right now, I have an order in since before the fire that I’m still waiting to receive, so it may be a while! I’m sure he’s swamped with a lot more than back orders, but what an amazing spirit he’s had thru’ all this.

        I have five books through FootHills, three of my own, and two anthologies of which I was editor or co-editor. But if you want to take a “free” look at some of my work, check my blog at http://karlalinn.blogspot.com/2012/08/sky-is-consciousness.html.

        And let’s do keep in touch!

        Write on!

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