river nurse

river nurse
for Claudia, Bethie and all the nurses in
whose care we come & go

she had
lifted them
into coming
the wet
the just
learning
to breathe
she had
seen them
off the old
the broken
with a
hand gentle
down over
their eyes
she said
she knew
whenever we
talked of the
river there
was just
one and
we could
only run
into it
never out
only go
with
the
river
and if
we knew
how well
we were
made a
gut like
filigree of
autumn leaf
all through
to the smallest
length
if we really
knew how well
we were made
a perfection
we did our
best to
poison
we should
have wept
at our piece
of shine in
the river
autumn
the shine
that was
us.

shone
to a
sky
like
winter
ice

august 2017

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