The River Book

A man fishes pieces of a book
out of the river,
dries the pages, weighs them down
with stones. Whole chapters
have come unglued, scatter
from their spine trailing bits of string,
but he keeps trying to bring them back,
put them in order.

A child breaks free
from its parents to run after geese,
hand reaching for the beak
of a gander, neck outstretched
a woman laughs into her phone,
what’s your hurry, a boy calls,
throwing pebbles at the waves,
shouting to rafters bobbing, one after
another, scatterbrained in the current.

Tightrope walkers
stretch a red ribbon taut
between trees, cross heel and toe, arms
akimbo, bare feet, bare flesh
against all that bark.

On and on they keep coming
down in the water, to find
the lost companion,
the song they were promised.

Even old men wade out at dawn,
hopeful, unable to stop themselves
from casting lines
against the sun.

~ Cassie Welburn

Cassy Welburn is a Calgary poet and storyteller who lives on the Bow River. Her poems and stories have appeared in a variety of Canadian literary journals and anthologies, as well as on CBC radio. She enjoys performing her work at storycafes and festivals around the country.

You can read more poems by Cassie here

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