MIDSTREAM

A young man sits
on a large flat rock
jutting out into a river.
He slowly tells the river
the story of his life,
places he has been,
people seen and known.
Each drop of water flowing by
hears a small bit
of his story, none hear
whole thoughts, for perhaps
he has told none.
Some time later I sit
on the flat rock
and stare into the roiling water.
I listen for the river’s story
but each drop of water
tells small bits of its life,
or maybe it is
the lives of others
who stood along its banks
upstream, and let their lives
trickle into its flow.
A fish swims slowly by,
it’s silvered scales
flashing gold
in the late afternoon sun.
It pauses near the rock,
purses its mouth
and swims off downstream.
We both understand
it is only the ocean
that hears us fully.

 

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