Posted by: Mark Nielsen | April 10, 2010

Bend in the River (original poem: 3-24-10)


Bend in the River                                3-24-10, Mark Nielsen

Sharp-shinned hawk–

Second time today.

Are you following me–

You hunter of these quiet woods–

or am I following you?

As you fly off again

On another reconnaissance mission,

I thank the noisy downy woodpecker

Who alerted me to your presence, your much-welcomed attentions.

We two have wooed each other all year,

Under the watchful eye of these gray heavens.

But I fear there is to be no wedding,

Nor any final confrontation,

For each of us is meant for finer things.

So for now, here,

This silent sacred dance,

This forty second glance,

At the bend of the river

Just past the fence,

Is more than enough.

Our love —

this seeing into each other,

As the new grass greens up

And the swollen river recedes

To a safer level–

Occupies a permanent diplomatic importance

In the history of our two families.

This is no wedding in need of witnesses

(Like chirping chickadees, rotting raccoon, curious canine).

No, these friends are here as witnesses

To the silent signing of a treaty:

An agreement

that the glory within and the Glory Beyond

Shall not perish or go unnoticed.

I kneel before you,

Fellow traveler,

Watchman over the muddy, lightly trodden

path of glory,

Path to this wild garden of grace

Beside the still waters.



  1. Wish I had been there–sounds lovely!

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