to my river, overflown

the river overran his banks this year
not softly, as he does with each spring’s flood
—but in a torrent
as winter loosed its icy hold,

the water rushing out across the land
hungry to take back the heavy earth
that had once contained
and constrained it.

he swept across the pathways
the parklands and the fields,
into the basements and the gardens
and up the trunks of trees.
as the waters rose
we took to our boats.
he did not notice us;
he had other cares to mind.

that was one month ago.
he was quiet when i visited him tonight
the waves lapping at my ankles
in the softest kind of kiss
as he stretched out slow and gentle
beneath a pastel summer sky.
his banks have shifted,

just a touch.
the earth is still marked by his passage.