coda

cruel memory’s stubborn resolve rises & falls
like incantations      you ride the pitch & tone
through nameless days.

i could tell you the course of a river can’t be changed
but you’ve seen his face in its quiet reflection
felt the pull of shifting streams.

some days you are the strength of those currents
others lost in their fickle eddy knots in your hair
too long uncombed.

it matters not if it’s water or song      this swell of chants
unlikely visitations       only that it brooks your sorrow
of those last days when even your love could not save him.

you tell me you’ve been where the river once flowed
banks alive now with black-eyed susans      how it’s their spring
not yours     how their hollow eyes hold your gaze.

innocence long buried in unmarked graves, you ride the rapids
of an uncertain future. as for love     there is less of it now
but more need; even the poets have lost their way.

• • • •

Published in Spillway #13

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