By a crystal creek in the grassy wood, 

A sun-warmed cabin nestles among lilac and daisy.

Gingham flutters under sighing wisteria 

And wicker cradles forget-me-not 

Beside sun-sparkling chamomile tea. 

a fly thrashes desperately, then falls still in the cup. 

By a half-raised window veiled in gently swaying lace,

I work wood across wheat, 

Kneading my love into butter and berry. 

sweat beads on my brow and i smear it with red-stained fingers

Oven accepts offering, and I dust my hands 

Across the white linen apron tied with a bow at my waist.

making a scarlet mark among the bleach burns 

I wander barefoot to the riverbank 

nettle stings my bug-bitten ankles 

And take a seat upon the water-worn pebbles. 

mud soaks my skirt, wet cloth sucking hungrily at skin

Sunlight paints the water white as the clouds above.

and burns my arms until they peel 

Beneath verdant willow I wade into the river,

frigid water shocks my legs and numbs my toes

Golden hair pooling like liquid sunlight around my head.

my dark roots have grown shamefully long 

The current pulls me gently into its embrace

suddenly my feet cannot touch the bottom 

And I am drifting downstream like a fallen flower

i don’t know how to swim 

Splashing water makes glittering diamond-drops,

i don’t— 

Then the river smooths again to perfect, placid glass.

and the pie is burning in the oven

Allison Liu is an emerging writer currently studying in the Boston area. She can often be found working on her novel, photographing the unusual, and conducting bioengineering research. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Yellow Arrow VignetteThe Violet Hour MagazineThe Foredge Review, Crashtest Magazine, Cloudy Magazine, and elsewhere.