NORTH AND SOUTH • by Laurel Garver


That splish-splash summer night you chose me 

with a touch of your toe and slow smile.

A deep dive and you bubbled under me,

slipped between my thighs,

lifted me, dripping 

on firm, freckled shoulders.


Your sure grip on my ankles

drew out my Yankee-girl grit.

I grappled every citrus-voiced belle

who sneered at my pasty face,

sent them sprawling into waiting water.

We toppled team after team,

not caring if they called me crazy

or you a Mason-Dixon traitor

as we coolly clawed our way up

to chicken-fight champions.


When pizza came and towels were found

your arm stayed around my waist.

I couldn’t taste the food I chewed,

listening to your languid tales

of alligators, telling my most

shivery snowstorm stories

with one cheek pressed against

your butterscotch-spattered chest.


Lights clicked off, gates locked.

We moseyed through the sultry night,

trailing the jostling boys, giggling girls—

falling six, seven, eighty paces behind.

In a pool of lamplight you paused,

pulled, put your mouth on mine,

whispering Dixie into me

with your chlorinated kiss.



Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She is the author of NEVER GONE, a novel for young adults about grief and faith (available at She has published work in Flashquake, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Poetry Pact vol. 1, Ancient Paths, Rubber Lemon (UK), Drown in My Own Fears and Daily Love. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

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NORTH AND SOUTH • by Laurel Garver, 2.0 out of 5 based on 26 ratings
Posted on February 11, 2013 in Poems, Romance
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  • Margaret Lesh

    I love this! It’s just beautiful.

  • Leigh T. Moore

    I LOVE it!!! I love falling behind and
    “whispering Dixie into me
    with your chlorinated kiss.”

    perfect~ <3

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