Along the River

Along the River

By Jesse Mullins

We hike along the edges of the river, no words or sounds other than                                                 Footfalls

to distract us. I glance at you, my solitary companion. With you, I                                                find peace

of mind and meaning. I cherish our time spent relaxing out                                                     on soft ground,

listening to Patsy Cline. I wonder how I could’ve been                                                           ignorant to the

possibilities of life. It’s moments like these where I feel a                                                       coming flood

of emotions – joy and anxiety and appreciation and love. We                                                    Walk on,

traipsing through swatches of pollen heavy grass. Occasionally,                                                      you’ll see

A lovely bird, a beaver, or some other critter. We smile, but say                                                        Nothing

You’re always so much more perceptive than I. I’m tired, but I                                                         will last

a mile or two more. But now, the creek that was a trickle for                                                      forever

roars in our ears. I want to turn back, but in your eyes                                                              I find that

unfamiliar coldness I see in waterfalls or glacial peaks,                                                       natural landscapes

unforgiving and harsh. I beg and plead for you to                                                        give me solace and aid,

to no avail. I am betrayed as the water rises,                     Droning                      like the harsh voice of God.

The maelstrom within me swells like the                        water around.                 I’m alone now, on a path

I didn’t want to take. Tears lost under                          mist and thunder.                  I chose Our friendship

Because it meant something to me.                              How could it have                     meant nothing

I can’t believe you held me with                                     gentle            hands,               and I thought

You cared. Why didn’t I see your                                   nature? Instead, all                  you would agree

to do were shallow gestures.                                           The world is rough,                  and we are alone.

Red Rook Press