(Stories) Poetry|Dear Human

Dear Human,

Thank you for the dike.

it is true that
sometimes I am more full of myself than
I thought I’d be
(This sensibility you share.)
in my eagerness to river after ice
(I have seen you thaw in cotton dresses barelegged in March.)
you make shore of me
so tender when you
stack this lap I might rub up against
your human heart as daisy chain
love me love me not
bagging your
small army of sand

you dike me
you really dike me.

my storied spread
from year to year
I carry back and forth the
old water I began with.

I would wish you safe
(Have you not oft wished the same for me?)
in the way you are along my body
though near, closer than is wise stuffed with
too much loving
me for yourself
(You know this.)

I heave
what you leave behind as you eat me
in drainage dumps

I am as careful with you as I can be
wishing you more cautious.

Think of the place you land
(You’re standing on it.)

this basin overall

a flood plain

(By whose accounting is the name given).

I am the way the season comes and goes and
every year
without fail
I bring my children made in snowfall, spillage runs
I am the where you are
with river
what you would dream

(There are sad names for those times and you know them).

The city in you on driveways
wintered shoulders at your side
remembering the way I milk
the shape I take at parties in glasses
how I would be the very last to leave
you if kinder
wider in your understanding
giddy in the gift I bring my
mouth big with my fishes you
might catch deeper stills

(I have seen you bathing in this quiet).

Remember my come and go
faithful in the girth of April
July tongues spun under ice
saga rising

even in the high of summer
my low prepares the work of melting

dikes always on side
moreso when seen through difference.

preparing and unprepared
I do not carry our spring lightly,
The River

Talking Water Project|Debbie Schnitzer (2013)

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