Running River Water

RUNNING RIVER WATER

I see you by rivers and big-leaved trees
I dip my hands in running river water
and cool the throbbing of your temples
I am honoured by the occasions
when your eyelids flutter
like frightened birds.

Deep river woman
you bear, like a covenant
the memory of mountain huts and yam hills
the kreng-kreng full and savoury
against hard times, you whisper
like beatitudes the unwritten histories
of flight and ambush and survival.

Woman river
I dip my hands
in running river water
and say: run free
run free

from It Was the Singing (Sandberry Press, 2000), copyright Edward Baugh 2000, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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