On the river or not this is what I wait for.
A moment of still water. One strong pull of paddle,
then time to rest. Here pollen yellows the water,
scum of land marries the surface and spirals
to mirror sunflowers near the red kayak
and a fringed tamarisk. Time to drink and stretch,
time to look back and see the strainer,
twin boulders, the escape, the release, sigh. . . .
Oh, no never. I don’t want this. No still water,
no anchoring tree. Any whirlpool is stagnation.
Scout ahead, take a deep breath and stroke.
Now head into the wave, then pitch and pull.
White water stress and excess. Never look back,
Satch said, and I agree. Around the next bend,
under the water, brute blow of surprise,
the echo of surge and spill, danger. . .
Susan Terris’ book Ghost of Yesterday, New and Selected Poems was published in 2013 by Marsh Hawk Press. Ms. Terris is the author of six full-length books of poetry, fourteen chapbooks, and three artists’ books. Journal publications include: The Southern Review, FIELD, and Ploughshares. She had a poem from FIELD in Pushcart Prize XXXI. She’s editor of Spillway Magazine and a poetry editor for Pedestal Magazine and In Posse Review.