It’s never the same way twice. Not this water
Running over stones to feed the river
In the valley, not this rain that punctures the sky
Like a stutter. Today, the sun rose brilliant gold
And the neighbors said it was finally spring,
But not like last year’s spring--
The snowfall melting heavily from the mountains
In gray torrents, the blue mist veined with white
Like splintered bone, the long drives home, a symphony
Of wheels in slush, eyes squinting
In the shadowed light to see the road.
Here, the water is a softer mirror.
The river pours its heart into its work, water as delicate as skin.
I won’t be delicate like that again. But I will work.
It will never be that same pain. I will be loved, or I won’t,
But change is certain. The river ensures this,
The way it runs,
Carrying bracken and leaves down, down,
Into the valley.
Into the valley, away.
Meghan Sterling is a poet, writer and writing teacher living in Asheville, North Carolina with her husband, Matthew, daughter Adeline, and cat, Beatrice. Sterling’s work has been featured in WNC-Woman, the Yellow Chair Review, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Cladesong, Clementine Poetry Journal, the Chronogram and others. Her chapbook, How We Drift, was published in September, 2016 by Blue Lyra Press, as part of their Delta Chapbook Series.