The Weight It Takes

From the Post and Courier. For Nikki Randhawa Haley, on the Occasion of her inauguration as Governor of South Carolina.

In the white silence that is winter
return to the river, if only
for solitude. Begin at the roots.
Touch the pulse that keeps
flowing on its own.  Sometimes
you will need only this.

For rivers are just a way for us
to find one another. Each rock,
the weight it takes to keep us
here; the fish, just fleeting
friendships, that will disappear
and reappear when we least expect it.

Beneath a tangle of trees,
the riverbank is an altar
holding water; the single vessel
taking in miles of spinning leaves,
lost feathers, and the dreams
of all who come here.

Now your life belongs to the world.*
Hold fast to everything
beating with sunlight.
Pull us together, like water.
Be the weight that grounds us
through swirling hours of each day.
When voices shout without ceasing,
be the stillness we hear ringing in our hearts.

*Refers to “The Strength of Fields” By James Dickey

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