Lupita Eyde-Tucker

Self Portrait with North Wind

Here I am, leaning into my oars again, pulling my own
   crying creatures across Dinner Key Basin
not unlike Charon, ferrying the damned to hell. Miami,
   some would argue, merits its own
Inferno on days like this–north wind kicking 35 knots,
   it’s as if my dinghy stands still.
I’m rowing hard, no headway. The falling rain adds
   a layer of pathetic I’m determined

to push past. Unless it’s hunger, wailing eventually stops,
   movement a pacifier. North winds
lasting for days won’t keep me from dragging our dinghy
   to shore. I row by island mangroves,
those neighborhood gossips, crooked fingers sunk deep
   into the brackish bay. The old pelican
perched on a piling in pity hides its beak under a wing.
   My toddler counts the flags on masts

as we creep past bluewater sailboats berthed at Pier One,
   a voluptuous figurehead eyeing us
as we get closer, pushed by the fetch. Light foam in our wake
   betrays us, trailing back to the anchorage,
where we swing on a Bahama mooring, living off the grid
   in the outer ring of Miami. At the seawall,
I tie up, hoisting my babies up the ladder. Today we’ll walk
   to the library, we’ll blend into the crowd.

Lupita Eyde-Tucker writes and translates poetry in English and Spanish. She’s the winner of the 2021 Unbound Emerging Poet Prize, and her poems appear in Nashville Review, Columbia Journal, Raleigh Review, Women’s Voices for Change, Yemassee, Rattle, and [PANK]. Lupita is a first-year MFA student in Poetry at the University of Florida. Most recently she was a finalist for the Sewanee Review Poetry Contest, Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, Frontier Poetry Chapbook Prize, and the Gloria Anzaldúa Prize. Read more of her poems at:

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Winter 2021