How I wish you could see the
river this morning,
all swollen and fat,
running fast from the first real rain
of autumn after the long
drought of summer.
The riffles have turned to
rapids; the water foams white
as it tumbles over the rocky
shelf in the shallows
near the bank where
I sometimes sit to pray.
On the weir, I sit in the middle of the river,
and see that the water, surely,
rolled over this rocky dam in the night,
washing up sticks and leaves and mud,
now caught in the ledges,
lodged in the cracks.
And I think how you would love
the river, the way I love the river, this sanctuary
on earth. How, in the presence of the
river, eternity breaks through time, breaks
through space, and flows
into the soul, and into the heart, and stands.
With the grey sky, it is clear, now,
that autumn has fallen at last, and
fallen, truly, without you. But I
remember love, and how
once you have loved,
you always love.
So I release you to this
river, to be carried far from me; for
I cannot hold you here, cannot keep
you here with me. So go now,
and be, and live freely, in
hope, the life given.
©stephanie pepper, 2019