On the Continuity of Water

The river rises, pushing against its shining skin
stretching to drag at the banks on either side,
the driftwood of yesterday long downstream,
the eagle’s reflection a shattered prism
in the morning light.  It is another river and
another year, but my father stands beside me,
arm sweeping above the current to show the
swell until he was sure I could see what he saw.

Water stands in these bottom fields awaiting
the hard soybean’s fall from the planters,
come drying wind, steaming sun.  Acres running
beyond the horizon passed from grandfather to
grandson just like those mornings swept from the sky,
sun to our backs, watching this river’s water
dump into the one by which we stood that May day,
him knowing almost to the half hour when river
would merge into river, the crest like a belly on
a swollen cat fish, turgid, promising, alive.

By Pat Anthony

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