The River Hastens: A Poem
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
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© 2018 Chris Mills