I have three children, but only two arms. He falls and barely splashes, that's how incredibly light he is--was. How death whispers
I lie on my back on this roof, dazed by the stars blazing on pure black. I croon feverish, off-key to drown out the water's teeth.
These are printed in the Summer 2011Tanka Journal Ribbons and are from Smith's poetry collection Blood Dazzler which is about her experiences during and after Hurricane Katrina. I still cry reading them. It doesn't matter at all that she doesn't follow some of English tanka's current conventions, or that she calls these "tankas."