Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walk poem / River poem

by Christina Gleason

Walk poem (river poem)

The fierceness of your stride
was unexpected; I fell behind.
I took you by the arm
and I think I asked you, what, it doesn't matter,
only that I thought to ask it
and maybe you answered,
that it was brisk, but we were not cold
or, if we were, we did not say,
and we took the unlit path by the Genesee,
stopped to lean against the wind
and below us the river
was featureless and deep.

I said:

When it is very dark,
we know shapes by silhouettes
and the river is the same black
canvas as the shut-off
world we are moving from
so quickly;
the same glossy, Spring-heat incandescence
that makes the surface shimmer
is rising and spreading.

So we walked
and home fell behind
us, flat and jaundiced
against the shadowed lawn
and, turning away, the only thing
that cast its pretty face on the water
was light: fat angles narrowing
in whites and yellows,
the occasional red reaching the shore;
sometimes blue, the wave of a whisper
pushing out and retracting back to its middle
as if the night makes a magnet of these things,

as if it makes a scene, and when
you join the lines bleeding out
like paint under the pedestrian bridge
to the pillars of the fallen curves of trees
rippling in the rushing water,
it makes a warm impression of a reflection,
feather-edged and indistinct.

I think it is beautiful sometimes,
to see a river like this, streaming
up from the brown depths of a city
and turning blue-black as the sky
before the projection dims
and the skin is skimmed off
to the dirty rise of morning.

1 comment:

    by Grace Paley

    This hill
    crossed with broken pines and maples
    lumpy with the burial mounds of
    uprooted hemlocks (hurricane
    of ’38) out of their
    rotting hearts generations rise
    trying once more to become
    the forest

    just beyond them
    tall enough to be called trees
    in their youth like aspen a bouquet
    of young beech is gathered

    they still wear last summer’s leaves
    the lightest brown almost translucent
    how their stubbornness has decorated
    the winter woods

    on this narrow path ice tries
    to keep the black undecaying oak leaves
    in its crackling grip it’s become
    too hard to walk at last a
    sunny patch oh! i’m in water
    to my ankles APRIL


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