No Trespassing

by J. C. Runolfson

If you disturb the water
the water will disturb you.

Jenny Green came to the water
bright ribbons in her hair.

Those are not rocks under the water
those are not pebbles under your feet.

Green Jenny drowned in the water
weeds tangled in her hair.

Bones need company under the water
teeth need playmates under the reeds.

Jenny Green floats in the water
rank pondscum in her hair.

If you disturb the water
the water will disturb you.


J. C. Runolfson's work has appearead both in Goblin Fruit previously and in Reflection's Edge, Lone Star Stories, The Sword Review, The Shantytown Anomaly, Scheherezade's Bequest, on the Cabinet des Fees website, and Between Kisses, to name a few. This particular poem was written at the request of a friend, and combines the figure of Jenny Greenteeth with an urban legend about a drowning victim in the author's hometown.

When asked what poem the word "cherry" makes her think of, J. C.'s answer is, "Pablo Neruda's 'The Stolen Branch.' There are no cherries in it, but there's a delicate sweetness and innocence that suits both the fruit and the connotations of the term."

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