Alison Jennings

Water of Life

If you live near water,
you share a hydrous essence:
the presence of deep lakes,
ceaseless rivers to the shoreline,

the waves, the waves, the waves.

Crawling from the ocean,
our anatomy was soaking wet.

Blood and brain and heart
formed tributaries,
filled with organic silt,
a private, inmost stream
of flesh and bones.

If stranded in the desert,
or landlocked on the plains,

you’ll secrete this mist,
traces of primeval sludge—

Bathed in bodily pools,
six-tenths of us
is an inner sea that ebbs
and flows, saturating
our thirsty shores.

runs rhythmically
in balmy currents.

Cells are drenched
in salt tears, like an oyster
in brackish baptism—

give thanks to:


Alison Jennings is a Seattle-based poet who’s written poetry since her ninth year, but only began to submit her work after retiring from public school teaching. Recently, she has had over 45 poems published, won 3rd place or Honorable Mention in several contests, and was a semi-finalist in the Joy Harjo contest for Cutthroat Magazine. Please visit her website at