We Want It to Be History

Terese Svoboda

Australians battled the flood until a bird with a leaf in its mouth showed them the way to Mt. Broome. Then Noah cut his left finger and bled into the flood and the water disappeared.

For seven years the Irish sailed their queen around.

8,500 years ago Lake Ojibway burst.

The Cherokee let a talking dog warn Noah. A pet fish warned the Hindu.

The Tlingit survived in a great floating building. (Perhaps the translation was bad.)

Wicked dwarves drowned according to the Zayamuncobs. Giants died in the Pawnee telling.

Only monkeys-once-priests survived for the Tzotil.

The Yanomamos dug too far into the earth.

Noah was a woman for the Mohave, impregnated by a dripping mountain. Also for the Huarociri in South America.

Gilgamesh met Utnapishtim, a Deluge survivor, who brought along gold.

The ancient Greeks and Romans were saved in a box-like boat, as were the Inca who noted that the flood left seashells in the mountains.

In Makiritare, Noah thought of a canoe and the canoe was there.

Two generations of Chinese suffered when the Yellow River burst. A channel-digging dragon, a mud-hauling tortoise, and self-expanding soil saved them.

Siberians made rafts bound together from tree trunks.

North of Mongolia, the Soyot believed that post-flood, god taught man how to make liquor.

The devil gnawed holes in the Russian ark.

Afterwards, people always spoke different languages.

Terese Svoboda's Professor Harriman's Steam Air-Ship, her most recent book of poetry, was published in 2016. Anything That Burns You: A Portrait of Lola Ridge, Radical Poet was published in paper in 2018, and Great American Desert, a book of stories, in 2019. "Terese Svoboda is one of those writers you would be tempted to read regardless of the setting or the period or the plot or even the genre.”--Bloomsbury Review.