The River Flows and Now I Know

By A’ Ja Lyons

I weep, but I am not a widow
I divorced her, left,
Walked out
Learning that I could be loved by another
Many others, if I let them
Didn’t have to settle, no longer meddle
Muddling in waters that could not quench my thirst
I tried, often lied
Pushed aside rocks, bugs, and fought bears to fish
in search of nourishment and to nurture
To let the river flow
Upstream, downstream, and anywhere in between
To where the sun would shine, glisten, and glean
In places lying fat and lean

How much meat can I get from a doe or a buck?
I’ll take both
My freezer has many shelvesI packed an ice chest in my trunk;
I like a lot of junk back there

Stepping away from the cold concrete
Onto the gravel
Down the dirt paths
To walk among the rocks
Along the stream
To sit among spurts of green things
Whispers from flying foes who wish to snack on my flesh
Whispers from the wind who talks through the trees
Whispers from the water passing over layered ground
That rises and falls
In some spots the water is standing
In others it bubbles and flows
Rocks direct, protect, parry – 
But what lies beneath commits no small feat
The dips and trenches affirm direction
Whether standing strong or flowing freely

A’ Ja Lyons has been published in several print and online publications, including Sinister Wisdom, Decolonial Passage, Response, and Lucky Jefferson. 

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