Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Whitewater Bend

Down by the creek, under trees,
where foam washes a green sound
over gray stones
in the undiscovered country,
I cannot stop thinking
of wheel ruts up the road--
always the same road--
of concrete cracked with dark veins
threaded through years
in front of the feed store--
always the same store--
where I swing sweet oats
over a sour shoulder
that turns towards sunset
and a wagonload that rocks my bones
farther down the ruts to death.

But the rushing water--this water--
never sings the same note twice.
The finch catching fire
in the poplar above the canopy
tells me that all rivers marry the sea.
I have been single and sour too long.
No life should know the imprint of a road
well enough to travel by Braille.

I taste the whitewater.
Vines threaded through woods
are alive and supple,
veins connected to some underground heart
that is now my own heart--
not the same heart.

With the sweet smell of a bride in the air,
there is no turning back.
I will marry the sea.
I am a green sound
washing over gray stones.

~William Hammett

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