August 24th, 2013 by Deborah K. Kelly



A young man stands
in against a river
to bend its course against his body,
to bend its course against his courage.

He singly challenges a river
shaped by rooted landforms
and metamorphic knobs,
by cataracts of snow pack,
the sweat of bulging clouds.

But once and again,
he discovers the river licking trillium,
finds it drinking duff,
birthing creatures…
changing everything.

He uses the heat of words
to fortify his body,
to dam and redirect the course.
He insists on the shape he declares
and grows so old.

One day, the river enters his bones.
His skull, a chalk bell,
dissolves in its minor vibrations.

This is how openly he meets the ocean,
when he arrives,
delivered by a river that feeds waves
at it’s delta.

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One Response to “Exertion”

  1. Julie says:


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