You were telling me
about the sycamores—
the impossible
angles they lean into
as if they wanted so badly
to stretch across the river—
something about
a root plate keeping them
from being swept away
like the other trees
that were getting pulled under—
their roots not equipped
to bear the currents.
Then you pointed upward
to admire how their branches
went from pure white
down to a patchwork
of mottled brown bark—
and as I was looking up
your arms pulled me
into you and I felt your heart
break a little against mine
because the currents
were coming fast now
and we were without roots
to keep us together—
to keep us from ruin—
and the waters, soon,
would be sweeping us away.







Painting by Frank H. Johnston, “Patterned Hillside” 1918

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