The River


The River



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:


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