we are moving away from the river and my thoughts slip sideways into the things i’ll miss–the marsh, the herons, the geese, the egret
to me, the seagulls are always connected with the river in winter–
resting on the frigid wind currents–
crying out in the deep allegheny valley
that carries their haunting echoes upriver
fairy lights and sparrow skulls
swollen winter river strands
vintage postcards on the walls
summer lined in brick-paved bands
Sunset in early February reflects
a warm glow upon sheets of river ice.
Nostalgic for spring, I keep the balcony door
open until the sun disappears completely.
You were here before the houses were built.
Before the boats roared along the water,
before fishermen cast their lines out,
you swam along this river and called it home.
I envy your organization, your dedication,
your beauty and collected calm.
And I am sorry that we take so much from you,
so much for granted.
This monochromatic scene stares at me
for weeks on end in the deep winter.
And although I find it beautiful and serene,
what I wouldn’t do to see a ruby red poppy
jutting out defiantly from the snows.
Your soft, flowing, frigid blankets
float softly on the river.
Frightened at how dangerously hypnotic
the spell can be, I step silently
away from the river’s edge.