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
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
I can do anything
Do you feel my pull?