Covered – Sarah Clauson

 I spoke about swimming season starting early,
Maybe even before March’s end,
And how the creek was calling my name.
Mother cautioned of alligators,
And I said it was worth the risk.She said, “You’ll be fine…
You’re covered.”Covered…
Covered like that comforter in college
That kept the daylight from interrupting my sleep.The daylight that covers the South Florida prairie
In a blanket of warmth…
Warmth it can handle,
Because it craves the cleansing that comes
When it is covered by wildfire.

A sea of grass and palmettos
Accented with hammocks of cabbage palms
That tower above the vast landscape, and cast long shadows…

That cover the cattle and keep them cool…
Cool enough.

But once swimming season begins, we don’t use words like cool.
Even the rain is warm, like the afternoon storm
That we got caught in on the bay.
We took cover under the bridge and listened
To the amplified sounds of weather and traffic and waves.

The lightning cracked and the thunder crashed,
And our little ones covered their ears.
Like fireworks on the fourth of July…
Beautiful to see, but too much sound.

I am covered.
By the protection that comes with a mother’s prayers.
Not words uttered on altars, or recited on knees…
But continually surrendered…
With each of her breaths that she’s breathed
Since 2:10, 30th of May, 1980.

The bassline of her brain waves….
Below the melody of daily tasks, personal pursuits, or leisure.
Underneath it all.
Constant.

Covering me.

Sarah ClausonSarah Clauson hails from beautiful Niceville, FL where she is a wife to John, a mother to Zephy and Isaac, a photographer by trade, and a lover of the creative, the thoughtful, the honest, the perplexing, the pure, and always…. The funny