The River in You

(after W S Merwin)

The first thing you want to hear
is the river sound

and then to see
the source of that sound

for it’s never the same
yet it’s always something like

what you think you remember
from the time before

and the one before that
and when you reach the bank

though you no longer hurry
as you used to and look down

on the long reach that flows south
and curves east like a wing

light and sound are one
and you know the swirl

of having been there before
though it’s not quite the same

as last time and the time
before that and you sense the pull

that draws you back is the river in you
racing to keep time with the river sound

from Taking Off (Victoria University Press, 2001), © Brian Turner 2001, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives 2004.

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