These Tenuous Things

by Cassie McDaniel



The wisp of a hair plastered on a forehead
and jumping into a cold lake without hesitating
under an alligator’s watchful eye.
The green of fresh linen on the shelf at Target, unbought.
The persistence of some weeds.
The earnest care of a dog we just met who follows
us into a lake to save us. We don’t need saving, sweet boy;
there is a dock, and it is full of heat,
there is wood, that is cheaper than plastic,
there are pop rocks with titanium dioxide that we survive,
there is a link to a virtual house tour,
there are contractors, not working, enjoying their weekend,
there is a front door, unhung, a window gaping open,
there is a mess of lubbers in a bucket of soap, one plant that might survive,
there is a cat kneading an old baby blanket, and he is family,
there are flings of arms round necks and the sore jaw
from you bouncing up into my arms. It heals,
it all heals. It all comes back.



Cassie McDaniel has published Pushcart-nominated poetry and fiction in journals across the U.S., Canada, and England. She lived in England and Ontario for more than a decade before resettling in her hometown north of Orlando, where she works remotely as a design director. Say hello at and @cassiebegins.

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