|Chagrin River Review
Looking into Wolf Creek
Inside this wisp of slow-moving water
another heart beats more deeply than my own,
sounding the plumb bob center of every living thing
that ever was or will be.
I came down to its banks through long rusty grass
to find something, but what it is
only the falling stars can say.
“Put some grass down in the creel,”
my dead grandfather told me once in a dream,
but he didn’t say why.
He was standing in another creek eighty years ago
with his rod tip held out above the water,
and paradise was all around him in sunlight
spoking through the trees and ripples so soft
across the surface of the creek they must have been
whispering something about forever.
I tried to talk to him but I couldn’t get the words out,
so now I say things I wish I could tell him,
how a place like Wolf Creek is beyond all thirst
and knowing or the power to name, how just standing
on its banks is like a secret promise that’s already been
fulfilled before a cold wind rears up like a horse
and kicks my breath away.
Robert Vivian's most recent book is a novel entitled Water And Abandon, just published this fall. He teaches at Alma College and in the low-residency MFA program at the Vermont College Of Fine Arts.