River

Down by the river, under the trees, love waits for me

to walk from the journeying years of my time and arrive.

I part the leaves and they toss me a blessing of rain.

…..

The river stirs and turns, consoling and fondling itself

with watery hands, its clear limbs parting and closing.

Grey as a secret, the heron bows its head on the bank.

I drop my past on the grass and open my arms, which ache

as though they held up this heavy sky, or had pressed

against window glass all night as my eyes sieved the stars;

open my mouth, wordless at last meeting love at last, dry

from travelling so long, shy of a prayer. You step from the shade,

and I feel love come to my arms and cover my mouth, feel

my soul swoop and ease itself into my skin, like a bird

threading a river. Then I can look love full in the face, see

who you are I have come this far to find, the love of my life.

;;

Carol Ann Duffy  (from “Rapture”)

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