The mouth of the river may be beautiful.
It doesn't remember the womb of its beginning.
It doesn't look back to where it's been
or wonder who ahead of it polished the rough stones.
It is following the way
in its fullness,
now like satin,
waters meeting, kindred
to travel gathered together,
all knowing it flows
one way, shining or in shadows.
And me, the animal
I ride wants to drive forward,
its longing not always my own,
overrunning its banks and bounds,
edgeless, spilling along the way
because, as I forget,
it knows everything
is before it.
"Journey" by Linda Hogan. Text as published in Rounding the Human Corners: Poems (Coffee House Press, 2008). © Linda Hogan. Reprinted by permission of the poet. Linda Hogan is the author of many works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, including The Book of Medicines: Poems.
Art credit: "Alatna River," photograph by Patrick J. Endres / AlaskaPhotoGraphics.com.