Waters Rising by Mila Chutz Gernon

The river is a bay, currents swirl around
the columns of the over-walk, lap
near the top. The levee's back

is strained with holding you in, while children play
near the edge as if you are a docile playmate.
Curious grown-ups dangle their feet
in your cold brown wetness.
One slip and your yearning could cease theirs.

You draw us in with your bold visit.
A crowd comes to gawk at your burgeoning banks,
the heavens tum dark with clouds as ominous

as your rising. Spillways opened
give you room to breathe
in nearby swamps and bottomlands, room
to spread away from us. Entranced, we stay near,

to be a part of your vast quiet energy,
the muddy waters familiar to us as drink, listening
to time worn truths. Lurking in the wind,

the whispers of your mischief. Our belief
you will not overtake us. But tomorrow

we'll return to count the dry steps.

@, 2008, Gernon

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