Posts Tagged ‘river’




Hundreds of smooth red stones—

we gathered them that summer

and spent days carefully laying them out

into a wide and winding red path.

It had no real starting point, no destination.

We tucked white daisies between the rocks.

We said it was for the fairies.

I wouldn’t have said it then, in fact,

I hesitate today to say we didn’t believe in them.

They gave us so much purpose.

Even now, I’m following that path.

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Autumn Beside the River




The rocks that were underwater

two months ago are dry now,

and a woman can sit on them

beneath the bridge and escape

the September sun. But she can’t

escape herself. There was a time

she really believed she could control things.

Now she sits with her own brokenness

and invites the inevitable autumn into her,

the autumn that’s already come.

Invites the lengthening nights. Invites

the dank scent of the garden, moldering and dead.

Invites the loss of green. You can’t be

a sapling forever, she tells herself,

though another part of her argues,

Yes you can, yes you can.


The river has never been so clear—

every rock in the bed is visible now,

and perhaps clarity is one of autumn’s best gifts.

She imagines the leaves of her falling off—

how she loves them.

She imagines them golden in the wind.



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One Wild Ride




inside the heart

is a river bank full

and a boat

with no oars

no map

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Beneath wide bands of ice,

the river hides, barely visible,

but when we come closer,


we can hear how alive it is,

playful as ever, babbling, rippling.

And somewhere in and around the water,


the stonefly larva keep moving,

the midges produce their own antifreeze,

the damselfly eggs diapause,


all of them adept at surviving the cold.

There are times I have wondered

how love survives, even when


we starve it, freeze it, offer it nothing,

turn our attention the other way.

Perhaps it adapts, as macroinvertebrates do.


Or perhaps it is more like the river itself,

persistent, singing as it goes, making its own path,

and all we ever need do is meet it.

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One Marriage


ever conversing

the canyon and river—

one carves,

one contains,

one sings,

one resonates,

summer, winter,

sun, rain,

both endure

both change

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Not until the darkness came

did I hear the river, the insistent


clear of it. All the bright day

I had listened to the ding


of the timer, the ring of the phone,

the whine of the boy and the sob


of the girl, the scrabble of kittens,

the turn of engines, the click


of my shoes, the printer’s gray hum.

And then, once the dishes were done


and the boy was asleep and

the girl was asleep and the phone


was off and the lights

were out and I lay in the patient


dark, I heard it, the changing flush

of the river’s rush, which surely


had been there all day, the river

doing what a river does—moving


over whatever stands in its path

and turning each obstacle into song.

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the rocks move

more than we think they do—

after the ice floes,

the mudslides, high water in spring

take note, you stone-like thoughts

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One in Winter




when cold enough

the river becomes its own obstacle—

oh heart, stay warm, stay warm

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One Togetherness

you and I

two banks

of the same river

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I’ve got a wide, a wide river to cross.

            —“Wide River to Cross” by Julie Miller, Steven P. Miller



Perhaps when the river

we must cross is so wide

and the journey

to just to get to the river is so long

that our legs and arms are weary

before we even reach the shore,

perhaps that is when

it helps to remember

that the heart is infinite

in how much it can love,

and dang if that journey

across the river

doesn’t seem all that far

after all and the body

shudders and trembles

finds a way to take

one more step, and

one more step.

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