darkly fills all the space
between its banks, flows
thickly, quickly, steadily on,
divided only by the sunlight
flashing off its swift currents,
tongues and braids of flow,
each waving ribbon separate
but in its journey never alone.
Some strands glow brazen silver
as they flow, some are speckled
swirls of starlight flicking gold.
Some, braided with competing
currents, reflect a leaden light
weaving through muted strands
gray as slate. Some currents
boldly splash and eddy where
they meet abutments, where they
brake and make a standing wake.
The surface braids and dimples
through hollows and wimples,
bumps along rapids, glides flat
pools. Never pausing nor ever
stopping, racing waters follow
the same patterns, make the same
plaits in the same spaces, waves
of motion shaped by river bottom,
by the river’s inscrutable volume.
first published in Poetry Atlas
©2013 Bonnie Manion