Issue No. 19, Winter 2016

The Droning River
Louisa Muniz

Then you looked into the burdened sky,
a voice calling your name, a release
into the arms of the river,
the altar assuaging your sorrow.

The morning after, the workplace,
a dissonant choir, broken words,
sounded in crescendo, like the droning
of the cicada in July.

The newspapers reported they found you
in the river, a newborn nearby in a garbage bag.
Your god, rendered helpless, grieved.
His will undone.

We read Cisneros in a writing class.
You loved her Salvador: the boy with eyes
the color of caterpillar, who is no one’s friend.

A connected moment pillowed in marrow.

Stifled by a controlling husband,
religion dictating your every move,
you suffocated, whittled into stone,
breathing into the seed of emptiness.

Sometimes I drive over the bridge.
Beneath it, haunted water,
the gateway that claimed you.
Whispering, why, my throat fastens.

I have known sorrow sated,
dragging me down to my knees
& I have known faith, this body’s engine,
a clarity curling forth, to pull darkness out.

The cicada’s song rises & falls in crescendo.
It sheds its shell before taking flight,
out of darkness into the light.


Louisa Muniz is a freelance writer and a reading/writing tutor. She lives in Sayreville, NJ. She is a recent retired reading specialist and takes pride in having been a National Board Certified teacher who traveled to China to learn about their educational system. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Kean University. Her work is forthcoming in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She is currently working on her first poetry chapbook.

  • Hava Laor

    Love the metaphors and similes. I’m going to “shed my shell” and fly into the light of retirement…😀

    • Louisa Muniz

      Thank you Hava. Happy retirement to you. 💖

  • Ruth Asch

    A powerful poem.

    • Louisa Muniz

      Thank you so much.