Water Music I

You flow. You do not understand.
The spring has eked you out of the earth.
You fell from the storm, you barely coalesced
before the journey began.
A gust of wind from a cloud’s dead eye
blew you onto the clay of the north.
You roll downhill, impelled by gravity,
jostled by roots, inhaling minerals,
fall to a pond, where spawn of frogs
grope in the eye of batrachian sun.
At the end — a hesitant stream.
The grass barely parts in your path.
By noon, you have come to the lake,
your flow anonymous, your voice
a cancellation of wave forms.
You fear you are the plaything of the world,
toy of a god
whose cruelty is your solitude.

You flow, you do not understand.
You cannot feel your strength,
your shoulders against a dam,
your spirit overtopping barriers.
You are insensible of reeds, of rust,
the thrust of fish, the wear of shore,
the notes you leave on agate.

Do you know you are incompressible —
that steel would split
before it would compact you,
that your ice can rend the hull of a ship?
Do you know you are the stuff of comets,
emblazoned by sunlight,
your tail as long as the gap between planets?
Do you know you are going South?
How far you have come you cannot comprehend.
You do not know who awaits you!


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