If the Creek Don’t Rise

Perhaps we treasure
witch hazel blooming
and eranthis, the
dignified grace of hellebores,
because we’re grateful, astonished
that we’re here to see them
yet another spring.
Our breath goes in and out,
we don’t break when we fall,
our sphincters hold, if barely,
and we sleep and wake
like people who expect it to continue.

I make plans for summer trips.
We speak of reservations on the train to Albany,
thinking of the sound of wheels on rails,
of how we’ll be there, embraces
we will share in places
that are new to us, in others
where we know every turn of road,
the meaning of every shift of weather.

But that will only be
if we are still alive, only
if the world has not burnt up,
if angry men and women
have not torn apart the fabric
holding us together.

If the creek don’t rise.

JSB – February, 2016

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