The Rhythms of Water

She’d seen those streams

that play all day, shine out

like shoals of fish wriggling their

silvery fins in sunlight.

           And the place where the current

           is stilled to a drugged sleep,

           choked with water weeds’

           clots of dark hair,

           she’d halted there.

She’d felt the lick

of the river’s delirious tongues,

its quick fingers stroking each stone

over and under and into.

           She’d taken the ride helter skelter

           round rocks that batter,

           hurtled into the whirl and wash

           of a maniac panic

           a foaming unstoppable forward rush to the edge

           and over

into the fall

the fall

the white stampede

that brought her plummeting down

            to a pool

            the blue of Messinian sky,

where she stood,

all the rhythms of water

gathered inside her.

Chrissy Banks