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Poem - New River

by Jack Lynch



The river is life, squeezed to birth from fractured rock
Orange salamander guarding the ancient spring
Seeping down marshy ground, a rail imprints the mud

We are a rill, a crick, a branch, then a river wide to the Ohio and back to the sea
Stoop and drink from your hands, splash, wash your face
Today we have work to do, miles to go
The trout lie quietly, the sturgeon come and wallow laying eggs

Our father the Teays, our conception the rain
Deer drink at our edge, red men stopped here to hunt
A thousand mills ground the chaff, the wheel sang our song
Hear,  admidst the evening sounds of insects, trickling
Falling with a crash, rushing, flowing, nearly still, deep
In the mountain heart, channeled through the gorge

Who would trace our length, traverse our reaches?
Not one can mark our million moments, before and after man
Do not think of this, your smallness, how you come up short
Against the river, time and change, dare to call us new, when we are so old
Watching a trillion suns up and setting, a myriad of stars, see how they dance and sway?
Reflected down upon our upturned faces, limning our lonesome arms

To know these tears, a restlessness , a rassle, a rage
When this you mark along my banks, weeds grown, days unmown
I baptize you anew, roll on, without memory of your sin
Find me then, name me new, know my course like life’s blood
We are wedded in our journeys, wistful in our ways





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Copyright 2010-11 by Jack Lynch. All rights reserved.