Girl at the Beach

Valerie Nieman

She digs intently
with her pink shovel,

saying “Daddy, Daddy,

She keeps working.
Something is down there.

She doesn’t ask for
his help. Just his witness.

Valerie Nieman’s latest novel, In the Lonely Backwater, joins To the Bones and three earlier novels as well as three poetry collections, including Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse. A graduate of West Virginia University and Queens University of Charlotte, she is an NEA recipient, a former journalist and professor of creative writing.