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Crouching by the stream
It whispers the names of drowned children
A list as long as the stream itself

The names are lures
Their hair swirls over their faces, their pink mouths open
The drowned are perfect swimmers

It uncorks a bottle
The children climb in, pressing their small fingers
Against the glass

I scream and scream
The bottle shatters and out they spill, limbs tangled
Its canines flash

Katie was five years old
The real estate agent smiled, telling us the house
Would be perfect for children

Katie liked to explore
The day we moved in she found a robin’s egg and announced
Blue was her new favorite color

At sunset I return
Clutching the pair of baby blue pajamas
She never had the chance to wear

I undo each button
Before I plunge my head underwater to mouth
Katie, Katie, Katie…

Jennifer Ironside

Jennifer Ironside

Jennifer Ironside lives in Ontario, Canada and she enjoys writing horror stories for children. Her stories and poetry have been published in a variety of magazines, including Spider, Crow Toes Quarterly, Room, and The New Quarterly. Follow her on Twitter at @nonesuchorphans.
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