Art Issue 3 Poetry

The River

“And there we stood
looking out in silence
at the great river”

By Larry Smith

And there we stood
looking out in silence
at the great river
too wide to swim across
though some might have tried
and drowned too young.
And our teacher stepped in
allowing her skirt to rise
to her hips like a cloud
with her inside, and
lifting her arms she beckoned
one by one to her side
where she blessed aloud
our baptism, not to God,
but to the waters,
and we the fish
that lived inside
and it inside of us,
“Forever and forever,”
she simply said,
“You are one.”
And some laughed for joy
and some bowed their heads
and cried.

Larry Smith is a poet, fiction writer and biographer of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Kenneth Patchen. His most recent work is Thoreau’s Lost Journal: Poems and Tu Fu Comes to America. He’s a professor emeritus of Bowling Green State University in Ohio and director of Bottom Dog Press. He and his wife live along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio.

Photo by Jack Anstey on Unsplash