As the River Flows



I unfold with the river

as it flows. It carries me together

with everything it carries forth.


I am the driftwood

molded by its force

the resting place

for turtles and toads.


My hands grab the river bank

and my fingers sink

into the black mud I love

the clay-like mud

that holds my fingers

and makes me feel safe. 


I invite my cousins

to join me and be still

and allow the river creatures

to share our space. 


We giggle

as a turtle passes by

carrying two babies

on her back.


We squirm and squeal

as baby water snakes

peek their heads out

and stick out their tongues.


Toads follow behind.

Turtles sun on rocks

and frogs on the river bank.

We are river creatures

dancing on the wings

of dragonflies and butterflies

as the seductive fragrance

of the chaparral mingles

with the cool air blowing our hair.


The pebbles

under our feet

ground our bodies

to everything that is.

The running currents

forever clear debris

clean our bodies

and brighten our skin.


I feel the workout in my arms

trying to stay afloat.

I feel the driftwood

in my hands, dead and weathered

like live fish swimming

by my side. 


I am the driftwood

in the river’s current

in my life’s journey

with all of that a detour

in my path.


The sun is high.

“Time to go home!” I yell out.

“Our parents must be angry

and wondering where we are.”


Our hair is wet

and so is our underwear.

Our skin is cleaner

than before, and browner

than when we left home.


My mother will know

we were in the river—

but who cares! The spanking

will be worth the fun. 


I am happy I could play

with my cousins and water friends today.

We raise our arms

and bid the river good bye

bathed in the wholeness

of the flora and fauna.


Like the river

I continue my journey

carrying my pebbles

my logs and debris.


What are you looking for?