Ann Christine Tabaka

Ann Christine Tabaka was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize in Poetry. She is the winner of Spillwords Press 2020 Publication of the Year. Her bio is featured in the “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020,” published by Sweetycat Press. Chris has been internationally published, and won poetry awards from numerous publications. Her work has been translated into Sequoyah-Cherokee Syllabics, and into Spanish. She is the author of 11 poetry books. She has recently been published in several micro-fiction anthologies and short story publications.  Christine lives in Delaware, USA.  She loves gardening and cooking.  Chris lives with her husband and four cats. Her most recent credits are: The American Writers Review; The Phoenix; Burningword Literary Journal; Muddy River Poetry Review; The Write Connection; The Scribe, North of Oxford, Pomona Valley Review, Page & Spine, West Texas Literary Review, The Hungry Chimera, Sheila-Na-Gig, Foliate Oak Review, The Stray Branch, The McKinley Review, Fourth & Sycamore.

He was so Tall

And he was so tall
he could hold the moon in his hand,
as he ran along
the shoreline of my heart.
 
His eyes beheld a future
that no one else could see.
 
And a million stars danced
in the presence of his wake,
as waves lapped gently at my love.
 
I shall never love another.
He has lifted me above the sky,
and handed me constellations
beyond the dreams of doubt.
 
Only true love can live
within one breath,
and exhale a summer breeze.
 
Handing me the moon,
the stars, and oceans of eternity.

Words in the Sand

I write my story upon sand.
Wind carries swirling words,
to distant thought.
Eroding sins/loss/loneliness.
 
Aeolian process shaping life.
Sun baked paragraphs
crumble amid camel footsteps.
Invading army of doubt ridden fear.
 
Cracked lips bleed, singing no more.
Once fertile shores, now arid dreams.
Sinking caverns, lost in time,
swallow my petitions.
 
Transgressions lead the way.
I pencil in the next chapter.
Is there room for more -
The desert is vast.
 
It is the nineteenth of forever.
Sands bury my soul.
I shall not be unearthed,
like some ancient scroll,
For I live in the swirling sands of time.

I Swim

I swim.
That is what I do.
I swim for exercise.
I swim to destress.
Swimming is moving meditation.
My mind empties.
Absorbed by the sound of soft splashes,
and the feel of cool water.
I regulate my breaths to my strokes
as I glide through my mantra.
 
Yet, I did not always swim.
Many years ago I feared the water.
I almost drowned.
I was seven or eight.
It was the first time I ever went to a beach.
It wasn’t an ocean or lake.
It was the mouth of a river
as it entered the bay.
The neighbors across the road took us.
The air was warm and the sand was hot.
Everything was so new and different.
I did not swim then. I had not learned how.
 
The neighbor’s girl was about seventeen.
She wore a two piece swim suit.
I had never seen a female body like hers.
I was fascinated by her shape.
I had never seen my modest mother unclothed.
I wore boy’s swim trunks,
handed down from my two older brothers.
My mother fashioned a top from
something an older cousin outgrew.
My father removed it, to my embarrassment.
He said I was a little girl and not a woman.
I did not need a top.
 
I still remember
being in that black tire inner tube in the water.
My mother had her back turned,
talking with the neighbor.
A wave knocked me over.
I hung upside down struggling to turn upright.
I could see my mother’s legs under the water,                   
as I thrashed about trying to reach them. 
I woke up on the shore
with a crowd standing around me.
I was terrified of the water for the next ten years.
Fifty years later,
I swim.
That is what I do

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