The Freshwater Review

The Freshwater Review is The College of St. Scholastica's student-run annual journal of literature and art. Published by students and faculty, the journal showcases poetry, fiction, photography, and fine art produced by members of the CSS community.

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by Kate Dupre
Digital photograph | Rose Warner prize for art winner

Spoiled Mallard

Spoiled Mallard 
by Marne Elmore
Two-color lithograph with hand coloring


Internal Landscape 
by Natalie Salminen Rude
Oil painting

Finding Myself outside of Bigfoot, Texas

I saw beer bottles full of cold piss the last
time I sat in a deer-blind and I zeroed in
on a doe before deciding against the shot
didn’t matter if I hit or miss however silly
it sounds I didn’t want to shoot a girl
but this time I’m determined to nail
a buck not because of any desire to eat
venison I hate the stuff I want to do it
for worse reasons for the story of it
and how it would be all mine and I think
about the way my dad only takes a camera
into the blind and how maybe it’s better
to save the moment forever not by killing
the thing and stuffing it but on film
because you don’t have to end every story
pointing at a tombstone but in that early-
hour silence when my dad uncle and granddad
sweep through the house in coats and boots
carrying rifles I get skittish and lie I tell them
I have food poisoning and stay tucked into
a quilt and when I stir in a few hours they’re
out front with a carcass in the truck-bed
an eight-pointer my uncle’s kill with its tongue
sticking out and its antlers more like branches
than I’d imagined but what I’ll remember most
is my dad telling us how he sat camera in hand
and watched the big tail of a mountain lion
as it tracked deer by the feeder said he couldn’t
risk the sound of the click so didn’t take
any pictures and I’ll remember later that
afternoon watching the taxidermist’s son
hold the antlers off the back of the truck
while his daddy chainsaws through the neck
I’ll remember how my uncle and granddad
strung it up and each with a knife in one hand
and pulling hide back with the other made it look
like they were peeling off a Halloween mask
except the mask was the skin of the whole
body and the bright and glistening deep-
blued purples of the muscles looked the opposite
of cartoon not like anything from TV and I’ll
remember how I turned to see my dad’s face
all squeams how glad we both were not to be
a part of this not really     I never even saw
the guts

- Taylor Collier

The Impossibility of Sending You a Postcard From Mumbai

Inevitable, the swirling way
this red boat circles its mooring and knocks
gently, leaving no mark on the world,
as dependably as these letters appear and almost
immediately vanish in front of us like the slowly decoded
glyphs of ancient Hindi tablets
chiseled from cliffs and translated
into tiny packets, passed hand to hand like contraband
through a century of sometimes sleepless nights.

To say something is different is to create fate,
because if right now proves anything
about back then, it’s its own inevitability,
and now I’m on the other side of the world
full of light and a thousand things I can’t bring to you.
As if anyone could describe even a single wave.
In curling toward shore, this one reveals itself, it stands up
and scatters in confusion, but even that’s not quite right.

Still it would have been a shame not to notice this
and try to name it for you and now
it’s just another thing to leave behind.

Between us, an ocean.

Call it blue.

- Dobby Gibson

Lesser Half

He took all the usual precautions:
fenced-in yard, spring-loaded stair gate, 
fireplace guard, child-proofed shelves. 
So he can be forgiven — in some future
life — for not thinking about a concrete 
block he dumped next to a half-
empty rain barrel. On this balmy fall 

day, a pile of jumping leaves and papa, 
thirty feet away, pulling carrots, 
his back to his daughter,
two-and-a-half last week. It took him 
that unhurried minute for a hush to sink
in, after a child’s ditty trailed off.

Then his alarm, repeating her name 
in a rising pitch, the soundless scream. 
How out of place she seemed, like a rag 
doll in the road he would swerve to miss, 
or remains of half a plane showering 

a sleepy suburb. She looked so peaceful, 
as if beholding the oceanic abyss.   
He tugged her out by her overall straps, 
pounded her back, blew too frantically 

into her mouth before fumbling 
for his phone. They came quickly, 
prayers half-answered.  

Nowadays they can bring a child 
back from beyond the brink, 

at least a part of her.

- David Sloan

Do Not​​ Leave Your Longings Unattended by Chris Ames

Do Not​​ Leave Your Longings Unattended
by Chris Ames

The Perspective Field by Marne Elmore

The Perspective Field
by Marne Elmore