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Rivers/Roads

Michael Crummey
From:   Arguments With Gravity. Kingston, Ont.: Quarry Press, 1996.


I thought I was following a track of freedom
and for awhile it was

                                                           Adrienne Rich

Consider the earnestness of pavement
its dark elegant sheen after rain,
its insistence on leading you somewhere

A highway wants to own the landscape,
it sections prairie into neat squares
swallows mile after mile of countryside
to connect the dots of cities and towns,
to make sense of things

A river is less opinionated
less predictable
it never argues with gravity
its history is a series of delicate negotiations with
time and geography

Wet your feet all you want
Hericlitus says,
it's never the river you remember;
a road repeats itself incessantly
obsessed with its own small truth,
it wants you to believe in something particular

The destination you have in mind when you set out
is nowhere you have ever been;
where you arrive finally depends on
how you get there,
by river or by road


Michael Crummey's works copyright © to the author.


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