At the point where it bends lazily around from east to south,
The Shoshone is less a river than a big black pond.
If you should step off of the board-warm dock and into a waiting wooden boat,
You can row around to that place where the overhanging willow branches are like a certain girl's hair--
You'll remember touching it as she slept, one morning when you were younger, and in a different place.
If you lean over the side, just where the oar rests, all you'll see is the surface, like an iris,
Perhaps a bubble or two,
And a Jesus Bug not heavy enough to know it should sink.
When it gets so still,
About seven in the evening,
The houses along the banks will look back at you like Aunts and Grandmothers from old family albums,
And you might think that the world would stop altogether, but for the tiny flutter of a vein in your wrist,
Telling you that it's all right, blood is flowing and you flow along with it, in your little boat on the Shoshone,
Into the future,
Like a French missionary asleep on his horse,
Or a pretty blue silk streamer
From a lady's summer hat.
Art: "A Familiar Walk" by Susan Rios