Toads and kestrels shape
the river’s being.
Being what? But song
and bird’s breath
and even lovers who need
her current, her living fury
that communes equally with the sun and moon.
Seedlings and butterflies,
the river engulfs all in her rushing blood.
Death reflects beautifully in her
foaming shine. And the devil’s rage
the salmon’s struggle, the child’s tossed-in penny
shapes her surly figure, is wine to her thirsty veins.
Branches and stones
vanish in her womb where never
the light has crept. Snails ride
her flesh to shore.
And though she is tired, she never rests,
desperate to embrace the sea, to ride
his undulating loins, and be bonded forever
to his salty grandeur.
© 1992 by Allison Grayhurst
Published in “Academy of the Heart and Mind” October 2018
Published in “Chicago Record” November 2018
You can listen to the poem by clicking below: