(Stories) Poetry|To The River

To The River on the Occasion of its Way

Dear River,
    If I
with the tongue I have
    its worth aching to represent my
    love for you might I/t speak on behalf of the butterfly by the dock
    entirely black
    who allows
me
    when I call
    might I say
I have consulted
the lap against the pier
the old crow who makes much of dawn
    yarrow slant along the green railing
    standby grasses
    august’s field flowering your rivershoulder
nodding plumeless thistles
    red and sweet clover
    goldenrod
    common tansy
    smooth fleabane
    bladder campion
    oxeye daisy
brittle-stem hemp nettle

list
may I say
I am committing walks in woods
        stained blues from berry picking
        the counsel of two deer
            who look to see if I might return from you more careful having been
            wrapped in your body every day hearing seminars among pines sure-
            footed along the stone slide that trims the line you advance toward the
            lake whose elbow pivots at sunrise

I have written to you before
    splashed
    belly skyward wording my wake
    in circles backstroke laughable
    a spray of kisses pedaled by knees

    triangular arms sloppy though devout
    spun as any dreidel might
    twisting toward the shore
    unmet

I am committing my seemingly failed technique
    contented
    thankful you have so often returned my writing
        asked me to rethink
            laps I might impose
            energy I might waste looking for a personal
best
within a
river current unbeaten
    velocity unbested
    volume inexhaustible     I see
    how you come
back from stretches to sea up sky descending

may I commend this cycling
        within which I become
        electrical

might I say that I am thinking of you
    borrowing from your shore
    the one fish I’ve seen pill the riverglass
    surprising the slimmest of humming birds who dusts birches ancient by the front
window, the spider running through the light grasses on my cheek at night

might I spread my swimmingmind along the highway that sometimes follows your success
carry into the city five weeks of the way I am loving you
the holding tank inspected
    potato peels composted
    grass unmowed
    paths according to their wont
    deers unimpeded
    boat motorless
    soap green
the nest above the fuse box undisturbed

might I ask for next year
the dangle of my body thread whose tangle you have encouraged among waterweed?

Talking Water Project|Debbie Schnitzer (2013)

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