Lineage | Emily Holland

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Emily Holland is a lesbian poet pursuing her MFA at American University. Her poems have been nominated for Best of the Net and two Pushcart Prizes. She has work appearing or forthcoming in publications including Impossible ArchetypeScreen Door ReviewFOLIO, and Argot. Her poems explore themes of queerness, place, familial lineage, and investigate the Southern pastoral. She works at The Writer’s Center, where she is currently the managing editor for Poet Lore.


Catch and Release

Catching crawdads in the Susquehanna, I
remember how grandma showed us:
train your eyes for movement, cloud of silt,
water mirage hiding them under pebbles.
We draw our nets from our belt loop holsters
and stand unsteady on numbed toes. In
a splash, our advantage disappears—we heave
the heavy mesh up, use both hands, gravel
tipping the scales of our catch—then we see
it: one crawdad, claws raised, already snapping free.