Tragic Salmon

Winter's Room
January 10, 2010
Tenuous
January 10, 2010

We hopped from stone to stone
to cross the angry river
mindful of the spring current
fierce and indifferent
like a herd of stampeding buffaloes
so easily sweeping away
and trampling underfoot
without regard for breakable bones.

I arrived at the other side
long before you
and turned to watch your feeble steps
so contrary to mine
I would not have survived
had I waited to follow behind you.

No.

I would have walked your path,
slipped in and drowned.
And you would not have realized
until I was miles gone from you.
Washed up in some shallow place
pecked open and rotting
like a tragic salmon.

But safely on the riverbank
I banish the thought altogether
Content instead in realizing
that without a guide, a buoy, a sign
or your hand to steady me,
I did safely cross alone.