July 17, 2022, Priest River, Idaho
WHERE THE RIVER BENDS
Where the river bends, life begins
Or perhaps it’s just before,
And continues far beyond.
Wildflowers line the banks
Regular attendees to an endless parade
A seasonal gathering as old as the hills
Birds chirp like restless children,
Flicker and dart after unsuspecting bugs
Nature’s endless hide and seek
A solo eagle glides a steady sail
Surveilling all there is below
The trout just plain hide.
Rocks haphazardly strewn
Create treachery and wild
Geese have gathered, enjoy the ride.
White water spills and swirls
Eddies relent into holes
Stalwart lodgepole keep time to the river hum.
There’s a single chair on a makeshift beach.
There’s always space at the river
To buoy a heavy heart.
Beginnings and endings matter not to the river
No self-imposed fear
Brought about by grasping branch or root.
She brushes along banks
With fury in early spring,
Only to languish in the heat of summer.
No feeble complaints heard – trust implied.
Changes improvised with storm and season;
A leaf caught in the current swept away.
What is it about nature… unbridled and undisturbed?
A primordial umbilicus tugs
On the unleashed and unsettled and chaotically orchestrated
Parts of myself. Swept up and effortlessly carried away.
I can almost remember a time with wings
In my bones, I mean …
Exhilarating lift, banking, dragging, diving with talons poised
Or maybe it’s the talons piercing my sides I remember.
Who am I in this grand symphony?
This route of no escape… life’s downhill run
Eagle? Or trout? Or geese?
Or holy different…?
Tossing a pebble for each unsurfaced regret
There’s an endless supply
Of pebbles, I mean…
Each plunk and splash swallowed and gone.
My shoulder blades soften into place
And a fatigue that’s not really mine relents
What’s this unfamiliar yet welcomed settle
If not simple acceptance of what is?
Perhaps I’ll take another photo in evening light
As if a mother’s heartbeat can be captured
Oh, to preserve the secrets to this unburdened
I pray I die listening to this sound.