Posts Tagged ‘inner tubing’

For millions of years, the river has surged
through the canyon. But in the ninety years
since my grandma was born, only once

did we find ourselves together on the water,
our feet dangling from the black rubber tubes,
the current pulling us through the ancient rock walls.

We did not notice the history around us, nor how
this day would become our history. We noticed
the chill, the white spray of the shallow rapid ahead,

the bump of the smooth river rocks on our bums,
the small gray dippers slipping beneath the surface.
How could we have known then that this

would be our last time, even though it was the first?
We were untethered, free floating, no thought
of the future, no thought of the past, curious only

about who floated faster and who laughed loudest.
We paddled with our hands and promised
not to splash each other, though we did anyway.

And we made up songs along the way.
It was that kind of day, the kind that seems
to wear in its folds the scent of forever.

Thirty years later, steeped in winter,
though forever is lost something returns—
a scrap of tune, a quickening of the breath,

my grandmother’s face still so full of life,
the black tube absorbing and giving back
the warmth of that old, old light.

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