Ode to a River Boulder

Ode to a River Boulder

Humankind say loneliness
but the boulder says solitude.
Boulder, old abider,

moveless and aloof
to the liveliness of the the river you live in,
though its leaves, its archipelagoes

of ice congregate against your gut,
your spine. What’s it to you
if birds make advances on your bald spot,

if the sun never warms your mossy side,
your right cheek in winter? You let the smelt
nibble stonewort below your waistline.

And once, a half-naked woman
pressed her breasts upon you, stroked you
like a fat pear for the photographer.

It’s said her body could sway a man
but she did not sway you. You weighed in
never to envy the love of stones

among stones. When you are gone
you shall go alone, a grave of sand a mile long
beneath the river murmuring,

a fine sediment between a child’s toes,
a final cloud of silt
as the crayfish flash away.

— Ryan Dowling
first published in The Rockford Review

6 thoughts on “Ode to a River Boulder

  1. I’ve been waiting for this and here it is!
    I like everything I can see in it. The sound of the river and the smell of moss. The solitude – not loneliness. The idea of this rock existing for itself and dying when the time comes, only to turn into something else.
    A beautiful picture of nature and life.

    And I love rivers. It makes sense that I would love an ode to a river boulder. Especially one that is so well penned.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s