Brag Poem

I Am the River


I am the river, gichi-ziibi,

born before time,

spawned by the headwaters of truth,

out of glacial lakes to cypress swamps I go

roiling, broiling, brawny-shouldering

through the center of a wilderness.

Prairies, bluffs, forests, farms, cities, towns

I feed and clothe and bathe them all

I carry the silty lifeblood of a continent

on my back

and the songs of a nation in my mouth

opening silently

into the great gulf.


I am the river, the big river,

the watershed of Manifest Destiny

I write my own history

Carve it in rock.

I don’t care who makes use of me—

Natives, settlers, saints, thieves.

Pilots, pirates, players,

gray coats, blue coats, no coats.

They’re all reflected equally

In my mirror

Thornbush and rose

Great hall or burrow

They all level the same too.


I am the river.

I am not munificent.

I don’t babble like a brook.

I don’t laugh with the children splashing on my banks

Or mourn the houses and farms

As they’re swept away.

I simply roll ever onward

Like time

I can do anything

But stop.

Do you feel my pull?