Which River To Cross

Which river to cross –
The shallow brook of faith,
Tepid in the slow run to God, or
That which drains into the oily pits
Of loss, tormented though alive
In sure and certain combustion?

Give me fire and hard current,
Give me love and rounding stone,
Give me rasping scale and snag,
Jagged rapid bends,
And the black swamp moccasin
Bite into my fat ripe shin.
For that is where I’ll meet you.

And what is more sacred
Than knowing true pain,
The poison of it –
The broken limb, the broken heart,
The breaking rind and taking,
Taking that what is broken
And breaking, breaking
Into a broken hand
And tying pain to pain
And thus healing
As long slow scabs
Conceal the wounds.

I will not confess my sins, no,
But burn them in the river to Hell.
I will struggle – with you –
the orange-tongued waters,
Grit-toothed and unburdened,
Dragged a half-mile down,
Until we reach the ashed
And muddied bank and fall
In the gray and muck of living –
Laughing that we tried at all.

Image: Austin Prock on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “Which River To Cross

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