Melissa Joplin Higley

Norman de Garis Davies (1865–1941) Funeral Boat, Tomb of Haremhab, ca. 1295–1070 BC Egyptian, New Kingdom, Ramesside Tempera on paper; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Like Isis, adrift on a papyrus boat, I quest
after your scattered pieces. I build a shrine

to each where none had existed, as if
by worship I might bring you back.

I did not love you.

Now, afloat among the vascular weeds,
I pick thin strips of pith from the soaked

and softened hull, press each fragment
flat upon my body to dry like skin.

Melissa Joplin Higley holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and works as an educator, manuscript reader, and writing consultant. Her poetry has appeared in Writer’s Digest, Mom Egg Review, and Grief Dialogues: Stories. She lives in Mamaroneck, New York with her husband and son. Visit her at

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Spring 2022