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Two separate episodes of life

swirling downstream to where the waters converge

pause one more time in some quiet pool

to survey the rapids and the waterfalls ahead

before rushing onward to the sea


Dressed in their oldest and most comfortable clothes

life-jacketed and sculling away in kayak

they laugh like children when the fragile craft

spins out of paddle then rights itself again

crying to each other in one voice, look at

that fish jump, did you see that bird,

its azure feathers, its orange beak


Under the brambles of a raspberry bush

that has spread its prickly wonder out over

some tranquil bend, they taste the perfect fruit

all berry fingered and purple with joy

and kiss a shared sweet berry kiss, and if you

pass them by and spy only one of them in this tiny craft

you’ll understand that somehow they have combined


To drift downstream past bends and rapids

down to wider waters where one day, in some remembered

rock pool on some undiscovered shore

they’ll separate again and watch the salmon

beating upstream towards the spawning ground

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© Johnmichael Simon



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