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Picture of Sybil Smith A Believer

Available Now - Hanna Duston's SisterIn spring the river
doesn't sing.
It is too wide and deep
without the snags and rocks
that make rills.

Nor does it sing in summer
but lolls and laps the sun
like a fat seal.

Come fall
it wraps itself
in sheer scarves
flexing its belly and thighs
while the white caps clap
and the wind sighs,
but still
this is not song.

Only in winter
when the molecules slow,
pause, and feel
the cold, the old
wise truth that life is heat
and loss the cause of song,
only then, as the ice forms,
does it warm its chords
clear its throat
and wait for the baton
of the thermometer
to plunge, only then

does it moan and send
a sad, clear tone
into the auricles
of heaven.

Call it physics
if you wish
but as the haunting twang,
strums the air
and groans
on
and on
I find myself
becoming a believer.

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