the river

there was a place by the river she used to go and sit and pick flowers
and take them back to the house and make arrangements
and in the winter it would be cold and she would make stick sculptures
in the snow.

there was a place on the other side of the river she used to watch
and she knew she wouldn’t be allowed to cross
but she looked at it with longing anyway because the grass was greener
on the other side.

there was a time when she followed the river right down to the sea
and she stood on the sand and listened to the waves and looked at the horizon
and she was afraid of the endlessness of the water so
she went home again

there was a time when she saw a boy on the far bank of the river
and he called to her but she didn’t understand what he was saying
and she realised she didn’t speak his language but she still
didn’t want him to leave

then there was the time she picked up her skirts and hopped across the stones in the river
and stood on the opposite bank and realised the mountains are rougher and taller here
and she felt the unfamiliar breeze and saw insects in the grass she hadn’t seen before
and she felt free

then the ice came again and the river was ice and the sky was ice
and she was living with the boy in a cave on the other side
and she hadn’t gone back, not once, to the safe side, the side where she belonged
and nobody had missed her

and she learned his language, the language of the river

then he was fishing and he was looking at her and laughing and he came to love her more than even the river
and the water was jealous and it took him in its arms
and the river she carried him away, away
until the girl would see him no more

there was a place by the river she used to go to pick flowers
and she sang songs in a strange language and threw the flowers to the water
and the water took the flowers and took them under
and the ice came and the trees were ice and the ground was ice

and she didn’t go back to the cave and she didn’t leave the river because she didn’t want to forget

she crossed the stones again to the middle of the river and picked up her skirts
and sank into the water and let it take her away, away
and the water was ice and her heart was ice and her fingers turned white like snow
and she sang and held flowers and thought of him
until the river took her away, away, away.

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8 Responses to the river

  1. abisnail56 says:

    *wants to comment but is speechless* *silence*

  2. diannegray says:

    WOW! This is stunning, Tarina!

  3. Awesome, reminds me of the emotions in Evangeline by Longfellow and just as outstanding.

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