River Poem by Beverly Jackson

I had a word cupped in my hand,
or was it a thought?
Now it's gone,
replaced by that spangle
of river water jouncing over
driftwood before it flattens to gray,
moves in slabs under the reflections
of cumulus fleece.

There's a stitch in my chest
that some might call pain
but it's gone as quickly
as the hare that skitters
across the rocky basis at the bottom
of the levee. Hiding. That is its way--
and my heart's way too--
to flee in starts, then stop to tremble.

The horseheads and wild snap-
dragons curl in my hand where
I wanted a poem instead.
Or those two swooping hawks
made a nest in my breast.
The river runs flat, but the
darkness beneath surges
under a wrinkle of light
which beckons like a curled finger,
fresh water to the waiting sea.

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