“Wave Man” by Meredith Mason

Meredith Mason


The bill sailed through the Senate and House… effectively banning most abortions in the state.
—Austin American-Statesman, May 19, 2021

Today I held my son’s hand as we waded into the lake,
strong wind kicking up waves on the shallow water.

“I’m Wave Man,” he said, karate-chopping the swell,
as the foam hit his face and made him sputter,

and I tugged him up so he wouldn’t go under.
Farther out, my talented cousin

was doing something called kite-boarding—
back and forth he traced graceful arcs

across the surface, while high above,
a taut red sail held the wind and pulled him on.

Some say care comes easy to a mother—
go ahead and take it like air.

Tonight, I smoked one cigarette
on the porch of the place I’m house-sitting,

inhaling once like my lungs
are my lungs.

from Poets Respond
September 7, 2021


Meredith Mason: “I started writing this poem in May, when Texas passed its near-total ban on abortion, and I finished it this week, as those laws are taking effect.”

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