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Crossing


ISSUE:  Summer 1986

The brook works subliminally, running
past the house, through the dreams
of everyone who sleeps here—teaching
the language of change and continuing—
nameless, just mine here, but further up
Adams’ Brook, and furthest Korzuns’,
in the hillside where it springs. Farther down,
it’s Smith’s, and people I don’t know
watch it flow into the Mill. Really,
it belongs to the rocks that make it pool
and color it clear brown, except where
sand makes it clearer. It belongs
to the cows, to cress, to wild mint

that scents my shoes. Later, in summer,
my mother will walk with me here.
We’ll talk, as always now, of my father;
that loss will be with us, that break
in the rhythm of their days, when she cried
and shook his still body.

 

Will she think I don’t miss him enough,
who feel him still here? Who have I loved
that I haven’t watched leaving—drifts erasing
tracks that seemed so sharply etched in the snow?
Her fifty years in one place, with one man—
it seems wrong to be kept from knowing the world
shifts underfoot, that we live on change:
oxygen moving into blood, the brook here
moving past our slippery purchase. Balancing
unsteadily, encouraging each other,
somehow we cross.

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