The River by Beate Sigriddaughter

Its strength declares wild green

indomitable presence, even across

the desert. It carves canyons, casts

capricious waterfalls. Nothing this wild

needs to be brave, or look for love,

just does what needs to be done,

with or without applause. It turns

obstruction into waterfalls and music

you cannot predict any more than

you could predict the jostle

of an intricate kaleidoscope.

It listens in the sun and whispers

eerie melodies of comfort

and approximate eternity.

I want to sing to it: flow, river, flow,

as though it made a difference

whether I sang or not, whether I ever

understood God or anything, the magic

of indifference, the sultry patience,

thank you, life, for giving me this

strength to walk, these eyes, a pilgrim

among junipers and lilacs, dancing

lonely against blue, instead of stumbling

still against the wind of yesterday.

A kiss of the wind, a shadow sweeping

in applause. Quick memory of light

teases the side of fresh sap

into jewel-like brilliance. A hush.

A shimmer. Life.

The Linnet's Wings is an Irish Bases Literature and Art Magazine