The River

The occasional groan of the wooden house

And steady soft breathing are all I hear

This dark night. My tired eyes

See nothing in the thick blackness of the room

But the glow from the alarm clock

And the pale yellow light that crawls

Beneath the drapes.

~

And the ache that set root

In the pit of my stomach

Slowly grows again, twisting its vining branches

Around every rib, until once again

My breaths are shallow

And painful, and salty drops of sadness

Roll down onto the pillow.

~

In the morning there will be time

To put away our tender dreams,

As one might put away dishes

In the cabinet of loving expectation.

But in this still moment I think of

The little saucer face,

A chipped teacup tooth

A round bowl filled with laughter.

~

And then, in the camera of my memory,

We slowly tuck the small lifeless form–

Dressed in soft cotton and

Fingers smaller than I’d imagined–

Into a floating cradle warm

With the linen and blanket

Of my swaddling love.

~

Like the dew outside,

Sleep descends mercifully.

And gently rocking like Moses’ basket,

The vessel drifts away.

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6 Comments

Filed under Poetry

6 responses to “The River

  1. malcolmjames

    Just fantastic, this. Rrrrreally.

  2. l

    this is deeply and painfully beautiful. thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks.

    I tried reading it out loud, and only then did I realize what a tongue-twister “chipped teacup tooth” is.

  4. hulaba77

    This is the problem with free verse. You have people throwing words together and calling it poetry. Too often, the result is sentimental, bland, and filled with cheap imagery.

    This “work” is no exception.

  5. gfh

    Your amazing ability is a gift!

  6. Really?

    really hulaba77? back up your comment with some “work” of your own.
    I for one thought it was beautiful. Sentimental? yes. Bland and filled with cheap imagery? no.

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