River you flow on
Endless and strong.
River with your crown of reeds
Tough and tender in the wind
Slanting like the arrows of a hunter
Bent towards where the open mouth
Swallows the sea.

River you flow on
Thick and dark, sometimes
Clear and gleaming
Coiled mud and broken sun
Entangle and diffuse
Then re-swirl like smoke and snakes
And avenues of trees and long lost laughter.

River you flow on
Carrying your rafts of leaf fall
And broken weed and slender fish
And frogspawn and sea fruit
And the voices of children and men
And women on the skin of the water
Under the skin of the salmon
In the soil at the bank
And adrift at the sudden shelf where you deepen
Like a mountain.

River you flow on
With the memory of knights on horseback
Rows of flags and frothing plumes
At your side
Hoof marks and the tang of sword
Left indented. Immortal as the light of the sun
Upon an upturned face
And the stone set in the eye of the dead.


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