Art by Derek Fitzpatrick

 

River Dream
by Libby Hart

I dig my arms into liquid like oars
to become a boat, ready for the open sea.
All I can think of is the beauty behind me
and that terrible mystery ahead.
This, being a language of lost space.

It’s an unknown territory that presses into skin,
upsets compass and reshapes my maps.
I say: Let the river talk of its great distance,
of all its watery thoughts.
Of an undertow that pulses

To become the very stillness of self.
On its surface I appear buoyant
yet sorrow widens my hull.
Land shall soon come to my heels, and
a smell of wood-smoke, burning.

Its breath will fall across my clothes
as I meet the willow’s shiver.
That’s when I’ll remember you
shoulder deep in this tea-hued river,
singing your song with care and grace.

The memory of it
will cross the water to me,
as if a skipping stone.
And I’ll hum along
to its unhurried rhythm.