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The River
by Michael Graves

In my life,
I swear, I will know you.

I will know the soft, wet
moss, surrounding your delicate,
trickling wellhead.

I will know each
of your myriad moods,
mirroring the terrain
for hundreds of miles.

I will glide
the length of your
dipping my paddle
again and again

into your cool,
liquid current,
as I pilot my boat
between your smooth,
slippery banks,
to find your hidden
eddy and quiet ripples.

I will ride your wild
bucking rapids until,
spent at last,
with heaving chest,
weak from exertion,
I emerge triumphant.

Drenched from your
wet embrace.

I will race your twisting
length, flying wildly
before your current
like a leaf in a storm.

I will chase the reflection
of the running moonlight
along your banks
in the cool spring night,
beneath sparkling stars.

I will know
your boisterous, triumphant entry
to the sea.

And I will know you, again
and again, until finally

you carry me


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