We'd driven many hours, five of us
packed into a Honda CRV, ac blowing,
bluegrass tape blaring-my brother-in-law
at 300 lbs. riding shotgun by my husband,
and our two, almost grown sons & me
stuffed into the narrow back seat.
When we finally unloaded at the Falls,
tumbling into the thick, warm air, each
of us went a separate way, understandably.
So after descending the moss-covered stairs
and rocks, I sat alone on a damp boulder
near the base of the Falls, while others
tromped downstream. I could see them
scatter-dark pebbles in the distance-
stepping through the cold water.
And because it was almost evening,
the sun slanted in hazy rays, a kind
of fog-light, surreal in its density,
like a poorly focused photograph,
& I, included in its frame, yet out of it,
found myself strangely snapped free-
of worry? remorse? can't say.
But I was a child again, then 20, 40, 70,
all confused-as if time were a fake thing,
& death or birth could be upon us, torqued
together, currents of light on a moving stream.
My heart knotted & unknotted, like a hand
fisted when giving blood. But it wasn't fear
or loss I felt, or really anything abstracted-
thankfully. It was, in fact, nothing I could speak
about, even here, in the privacy of a poem.