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Ottawa River flooding, 2019

here I sit, abandoned

by those who claimed to love me

my lake enlarged to mimic

the late Champlain Sea

swelled by melting snows

the river, wide already, slipped

over its banks, heading for the road

as if to escape all bounds

in other years, I have seen

waves break on my pillars

and concrete steps, but never

reach inside to coat my walls

and floors with mud; last week

my windowsills awash

my floors sank nearly a metre below

the river-lake’s surface

your feet are still dry

you leave me here to wait out

winter’s ire and spring’s passion

this year you will be sorry

for you have not stored things you value

out of the water’s reach

power tools, furniture, fridge and stove

beds and blankets – all ruined

I will grow mold, and slime

my pillars may not hold

my future is uncertain

but for now, I sit surrounded

by Lac Deschênes,

soggy-rooted trees mirrored round me

waiting to greet you

when the waters recede


Adrienne Stevenson lives in Ottawa, Canada. A retired forensic scientist, she writes poetry and prose. Her work has appeared in over fifty print and online journals and anthologies in Canada, USA, UK, Europe, Australia. When not writing, Adrienne tends a large garden, reads voraciously, and procrastinates playing several musical instruments.

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