Fear of floods

Is ebb the measure of the flow? She goes,
she lets; she skirts the nervous ocean’s salt
and semi-circle frowning, knowing take
then give again, not sure how much that get
is worth in give. Such oceans make a lake
of her own basement every year, below
ground where her mother lives and wades in worn-
out foam flip-flops. That stubborn water won’t
pull back, as if it knows her mother’s own
sharp knack for asking back exact amounts
she gives. A skill she lacks. And like that flood,
she does not choose those low-laid rooms for rest,
but goes, and goes, and stays. She doesn’t flow
there. No. She ebbs. She ebbs to such excess.