She pulls herself up and goes down to the river –

down to the river that was.

She watches intently the litter of dry bed –

memory of flowing, a glinting.


She takes off her shoes, presses her toes to

sand, loose rocks and twigs.

Her soles bear down and heels dig promise:

I’ll not forget how you flowed.

At first, she cries trembling tears, slow conjunctions –

loss of the waters, the cheat.

But soon all her weather achieves a full peak –

salt-searing, rages a storm.


Her atmosphere heaves, thunders and bellows,

shaking the ground at her feet.

And when the storm settles, ebbs, she relaxes

into in a crux of its passage.


A breeze of soft breath awakens the trees, they

speak and she hears their fine murmurs.

And there in that cradle, she bathes in the river –

bathes in the river that was


until she is cleansed by the broken dust pieces and

light, filled up in those shallows.

Then sky, like a sea, drifts airy and she

turns and swims, broad backstrokes.


And longing as any a fish could wish freedom, she

purposes off to the brine.

The sky, finally shadowed (its edges like birds)

swoops to her earth from that mind


and circles her there, its wings lifting her

higher than clouds in their aeries,

high up to the thought, the thought that once was

cumulus. Thought. Of the river.


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© Copyright 2007 Susan M. Botich