River Ode

 

The lavender skin river

whispered with a maiden’s call.

 

Bonnet curls kissed her banks

in a flush of forgiving tears

for the trawlers bruising

her mercy and calm,

each departing an oily scar

that dispersed in the flow,

 

for the water is never mean

this cold season

to those that whip her 

yet never scuttle in her embrace,

for she is an orphan

seeking the lost ocean’s reunion.

 

She wonders on rivery things,

the searching and sloshing swirl,

the geraniums, irises, lobelias

breaking off in purple sacrifice

to soothe her aching waters.

 

knowing that endless

Sunday baptisms have made her

sacred to those who

know only the dawn and twilight

of the sun above her

and the watery blessings

below that feed them.

 

The river flowers tickled her and

the laughter spread on her stream

and she knew what she meant

and what she meant to them.

She moved closely away

to the tiny hands in the grass

waving her goodbye

and the longer, bigger ones

welcoming the trawlers home.