when the woods are still pastel
and the air is damp with April,
I need to feel the river’s pull
I haven’t felt all winter,
this longing I have for water
that leads me here where cutbanks swell
with spring from every hill,
and into that fullness I enter,
myself no longer
but one with the shifting gravel,
and, like these mayflies hatching in swirls,
from rain I’ve come, will spinning fall
as once and ever,
both son and father,
eternal and ephemeral
while the current around me curls
and I lift my line in this ritual
of rod and river, of Adam and lover.
by Bruce Guernsey, from FROM RAIN: Poems, 1970-2010.
Editor’s Note: The long, single sentence of this poem strings together the imagery and idea of water as a ritual that can tie us to our past, our present, and our future.
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