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The River Hastens: A Poem

Chris has written poetry for 28 years though he focuses on short fiction. But watch out for the occasional twisted nursery rhyme.

Clark Fork River, Montana


The River Hastens

I sat on a cushion of moss in spring rain.

And observed the river hasten by.

The current and roiling were always the same

Though the water renewed on the fly.

A tree swept past upon the water’s surface.

While branches, silt, and flowers in turn

Revealed the brook’s ultimate aim and purpose,

To bear away what the forest spurned.

Weeks later I came once again to the stream

Reluctant to see death and decay.

The river as taker of life, I deemed,

To be beneath her calling and trade

I sat on my cushion of moss in late spring.

The river sauntered lazily by.

A hen swam past with her ducklings in a string

And a trout leaped to feast on a fly.

The river now seemed to be bearer of life.

Deadly currents as well had been tamed.

The once soil laden flow was now clear and bright

Which is the source and right of her fame.

Could the river that carries away the old

And the stream that delivers the new

Be two aspects of the one and both be bold

To form a cycle for me to view?

The river of death and the river of life

Are one stream that will never divide.

In annual surges and summer purges,

Life and death will forever collide.

The Clark Fork River, Missoula, Montana During Spring Snowmelt

© 2018 Chris Mills

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