Tragic Salmon

Winter's Room
January 10, 2010
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.


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.