July 17, 2022, Priest River, Idaho
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
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,
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.