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Rivanna Trails

A Rivanna Reflection

Right here the Rivanna is not really too deep,

At most several inches, perhaps half a foot,
But its force seems to focus and batter against
A small group of rocks, like some lost regiment
Far outnumbered and making its valiant last stand
For survival, no longer for duty or fame.
Up above on the banks, gathered close, leaf to leaf,
Primrose and morning glory, trumpeters of dawn,
Bear witness once again, as they have for so long,
And gather in their blooms as if sad at the sight,
As if fearing this water from which they must drink.
Undaunted from its birthing spring, to the James,
Until drunk by (and one with) the ever-thirsty Bay,
This river rolls restlessly wearing down its bed
And refusing to bend to the wishes of man--
Not to concrete or stone, not to metal or wood,
Not to plastic and glass and a deluge of waste:
At the will of the water we tremble and fret.

But at this one spot in its tireless course,
Hidden in limbs and a dense wall of shrubs,
The river itself becomes bathed in the light
Of the sun now directly above in the sky
And farther away towards the horizon's edge
As these eyes are transfixed by the rapids.
A moment of perfect alignment transforms
The Rivanna into a quicksilver river, aglow
With a brilliance and preciousness scoffing a price
And whoever would try, like the rocks, to take hold.
In that motion, that bright agitation now stirred
When river and rock come together and sing
To the sun as it listens with heart set aflame,
The river, the rock, and the sun disappear,
For the moment made something together that swirls
In an endless glimpse that must be given away
While the river rolls onward, the rocks wash away,
And the sun drifts away to look elsewhere and shine.

Be Well.

Justin Van Kleeck
August 2005

Photograph by Will Werner