Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

A lick's a mistake a creek tries to forget,

Eric Schwerer
From Prairie Schooner, Vol. 85, No. 3 (Fall 2011)

a creek's much bigger, something the river must
accept. Except Crummies Creek, which enters the
Cumberland as just a puny stream, having
been dammed thirteen miles up its mouth and made
to flood the mining town. You'd need to boat
to the middle to feel as if it might
still be in there, deep, current broiling the eaves,
undermining the Commissary, washing
through the submerged trees. But you're on the beach
spread with a grit the quarry sells as sand,
lake so full it seems to tilt the level land,
and there's a girl, in up to her knees, who turns
so you see the red lick down her belly rush
     into her cutoff jeans, some scar her flesh won't
     correct, her sister's child held against her hip.