River Rafting

October 18, 2007
I threw a twig in the river this past weekend; it was probably half past three,
I didn't have any particular reason for this indignity, only to sate my curiosity,
I watched it begin its slow descent, its stunted twigs mere inches from the riverbed,
The river carried it softly, mostly because the river itself was not much more than a trickle,
The twig continued its journey, burbling down a hill too pitiful to be deemed a waterfall,
Picking up speed, twirling hypnotically, topsy-turvy, caught in the clutches of a whirlpool,
Dangerous, deadly, drowning dance, tossed on whitewashed swells,
Tossed helplessly, a petrified rag-doll, ragamuffin, catching on fallen leaves, torn away,
Faster, meaner, harsher, rougher, straight, arrow, spear, cutting through the water,
Driven and driving, pounded by rough swells, matching the tempo of my pounding feet,
Beating the ground, flip and flop, in an effort just to keep up,
Breathe in; Breathe out, breath, up and down, just keep moving, movement, nothing more,
Stay above the water, don't fall, grasping, clutching, anything to stay afloat,
Flashes of color, blues, reds, whites, browns, breathe, breathe, breathe,
Oh, no, the twig is gone, sucked beneath the roaring surface of the rapids,
Drowned by those same clutching fingers, gone.

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