Issue Eighteen - Summer 2011

Chewuch Creek 1996

By Ande Finley

she cuts her feet on bones of the river
crimson pools on long glacial slide
of moss crusted boulders tipped
on broken pieces of themselves
teal ochre bronze bright bed of jewels
washed in chill music
her baptized ankles ache in emerald water
with memories of distant icefields
and sleep comes slowly

at the cascade’s edge
its foaming hissing roar
through white dreams
of dead lilies and frost angels
leaving gossamer trails
she thinks

I’m going mad in this noisy silence
and finds a stretch downstream
flat hot quiet from the noon sun
where she crosses cool shallows
back and forth
slipping some on the pebbles of its floor
where her feet find the offer of safety

tucked beneath its easy treachery
she stands in the moonlight knee deep
in streaming straining water
now calm now furious
witnessing each moment surge forward
as it always has
in this forever river

Copyright Finley 2011