the river drew me to her—


sent her butterfly scouts

to beckon me



fir and pine

became birch


silver threads

hemming her in


she called me to her

damp coolness


winding her way


through hushed canyon walls—


stopped me

at her side


showed me her pebbles and

reeds and flashes of light


the path went on for as long

as I needed


that place at the base

of my spine

eased its ache


I got a breath in


I breathed in the river

  green leaves and wet ground


deep in


I breathed in my footprints

  little bugs scattering

    circling back

      bumping into one another


I held stones in my throat

on the dusty trek home


  nothing is any better

 but the river did call