Journal of Writing & Environment

I lived once where the river turns north

as if it could return to its source, climb

the latitudes back through time and pass

the meeting of Pemigewasset

and Winnipesaukee, come

to the cliff where the Old Man lies

in heaps of granite, gravity

having won again. It always does

but still I’m caught off guard, a child

who stacks whatever he finds, block

on block, pebbles and rocks, the topple

always a shock. I’d walk in spring

and watch its cresting water fall

over dams and locks, its constant

drilling into bedrock, downhill

run to continent’s edge. I’d stop

to study the spot where it turns

and tries to revise the maps but only

winds up flowing east to lose itself

in seas, snow and rain diffused

in the Gulf of Maine and hauled away

by currents and tides a mountain

wouldn’t imagine even if mountains

could, a summit’s slow erosion

nothing compared to an ocean’s

pounding, the steady pull of a moon.