Downstream by Michelle Boland


The ice is cracking;
the waters below begin to run.

The holdouts might search for prayers
to pour over the frail shelf at the banks

and find none that will serve.
The rivulets let loose and muddy

the fields made fallow nearby.
Words like hate, neglect

and leaving float down with debris left
from summer’s freewheeling ways.

I wash my last clothes.
Beyond here, old lovers

cannot trust their weight on the ice.
They anticipate the thaw and turn

away from the black waters
and sludge gaining below the surface.

by Michelle Boland

Editor’s Note: As most of us bake in the middle of summer in PA, this poem reminds us that nothing lasts forever, though we may wish it to, as old lovers do.


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