09-20-81

 

Water Bed

 

I say the river is wide here.† But I donít mean it.

It is hard to speak of wide rivers with so many world rivers with which to speak of.

The water glitters with golden sun, a brown water gushing against the bank, rocking reeds and weeds as if a frightful ghosts pass through them.

The river locks whole islands of golden reeds in its embrace as summer winds down and a wind wanders the back canals, carrying seed to hide before winter comes.

I get glimpses of countless crawling creatures and feel the need to crawl, too, as if I am a rat or raccoon searching for a hole to hibernate in.

I am attracted to the coil of snakes, their smooth bodies curling near my feet like roots Ė but I fear their bite and think of them as the world and how vicious life has become.

I feel so small, less than real, like an Alice in a less than wonderland floating like a cork along river eddies I canít control.

The gulls mock my gullibility, telling me in their echoed laughter not to expect justice in nature, just brute force, living and dying, hiding in holes, all part of a cycle of life in which I suffer only one small part, after which I am gone.

The storm just ended, leaving streams of water here and there like tears across a scarred face, each flow stealing a little of the land, leaving less room and fewer holes for us to hide.

The gull cries echo in my head, rustling the reeds of memory, stirring up creatures I only vaguely knew lived there.

Years do not make a river bend, water does, time simply providing it opportunity.

And though I admire the flow of water, the glistening sun, even the snakes, I fear them all, each changing me inside the way they change the landscape without.

I donít even know who I am any more, or what I should be, feeling weary here amid the reeds of this vast water bed knowing that each drip of water wears me away, too.

I see the geese rise from the surface for their flight south, envying them, as I wish I had wings to follow, when the best I can do is crawl in search of a hole, wrapping myself up in this blanket of reeds until winter passes and the seeds once again bloom in spring.

 

 


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