To the River to Pray

I did not go to the river to pray. At least,
That’s what I thought. I brought a plastic bag
And tied it tight around the handle bars,
Let it drag, kept the fingers of the

Water to themselves. I brought a box of
Song as well. Let the singers drown the
Unmelody of cars and rocks and daughters,
Let them echo on the slag and drift

Along the current. I went to the river to be
Alone with them. They brought a lonely friendship
As we sailed through parks and passed beneath
The overpass. I didn’t mind. I laughed.

I think the river is, for me, a kind of
Church. I made confession without words,
Took communion with the turtles and
Mosquitos. Heard a sermon in the little

Rapids and the singing leaves, the passing
End of things, the ringing union of oppression
And beauty and trash. Saw an icon in the
Flotsam. Said a prayer.

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