Treasure Island

Chris Wrzesien

(February 29,1988)

To Carry On the Word of my Old Friend River


Once great mighty river,
why so thin? why so tired?
Your raging battle cry through the wood
is now an endless sigh of watery air.

I walk beside you,
now unafraid of your temper,
enjoying your monotonous song.
Then I look down,
and I am standing in your muddy footprint,
where you galloped in your days of youth,
now too tired to climb back up.

Standing on your polished stones, I now see what you see
Grand canyons to the East and the West
and suddenly I am in more than your footsteps
suddenly, I read your story:

From youth to retirement,
carving these thick valleys
wide, to invite green life.
A tree grows on your bank and, falling,
it lands upstairs upon your hill.
I climb the wooden ladder and stand on your peak -
Graciously growing ever higher as you polish his feet.
From up here, you look small.
Now, you look small.

Now, the remainder of your days
yelling throughout the forest
Look at this valley I have carved!
Alas, no one came
Until you stopped raging
Until you let us walk amongst your peaceful valleys,
with you and unafraid.

Rage no more, Old River,
Flow through time at your own quiet rhythm
For the world will know your life's masterpiece
I will go to them
and sing your praise

Submitted: Wednesday, May 27, 2009
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  • Susan Bagley (5/29/2009 9:38:00 PM)

    This is an enchanting poem Chris. I can see it and feel it. A lovely tribute to a once great force and even in its demise, still an attraction and still carving, impressions rather than meandering paths.
    Great write.
    Susan Bagley (Report) Reply

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