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Asked about her poem and her roots, Lynn Powell writes, “My heritage is Welsh on my dad's side (Powell), but the family has been in this country a long time, so there's no memory of the Welsh experience.  I went to Wales with my family in 2003, though, and everyone looked like my cousins!

"Lynn" by Lynn Powell

Too American to remember the root,
my parents still chose Welsh:
pool at the bottom of a waterfall.

And it’s true, a child is a river,
gathering the consequences of who-knows-what
old storms high up in the hills

then smashing those heirlooms white
as porcelain against downstream rock.
If rock relents, away

from the gash the surface calms
into a face of sky. Plants lean in,
looking for their own green selves...

Once I longed for a faceted name
I could flash like jewelry. But now
I am falling like rapids

into my one and only vowel.

"Lynn" by Lynn Powell from The Zones of Paradise. The University of Akron Press, 2003. Used with permission of the author.

Lynn Powell is the author of two books of poetry – Old & New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise – and a book of nonfiction, Framing Innocence. Her new work has been published most recently in Shenandoah, The Georgia Review, and The Norton Introduction to Literature. She lives and teaches in Oberlin, Ohio.