About the Feature

Photo by Bureau of Land Management

God made her
his vessel. No.

God made of her
a vessel. No.

The river poured
into her as if a vessel.

Yes. God made
of her a raft. No.

Her child clung to
her as if a raft.

No. Clung to her
as a raft. Yes.

God made of her
a vassal. Yes, landless,

river pastured,
root cut loose.

About the Author

Lisa Olstein is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Late Empire (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). She teaches in New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs at UT Austin.