Christopher Oak Reinier

OCTOBER MORNING ON THE RIVER
 
They've taken down
the summer dams.
Over-night the river
has returned to its
drained and naked self.

In a dreamscape of loss,
the river’s bed has been
abandoned by water hurrying
away to the ocean,
leaving the dregs of a
false lover's lust.

It is a bed of muddy stones.

Far out on the bereft channel
a silhouetted man bends,
picking up things,
examining them.

I step out across the slippery rocks,
and ask, “What are you finding?”

“Pretty stones,” he says, “Indian beads…
This river’s been running for thousands of years.”

“You’re finding Indian beads?”

“Ah, sure, “ he says,
digging in his frayed pant’s pocket,
extracting a bent nail, a penny,
a paper clip, a common stone…
"Guess they’re in my knapsack”, he shrugs,
gesturing at the pack on his back.

“Okay," I say, sensing it time to wander away.

As I step back across the rocky sludge,
he calls, "I found a diamond once…"

"All right!" I respond,
and look at the muck
of the river bed,

morning sun glistening off
the dying river weeds…

Christopher Oak Reinier lives near the Russian River in Northern California, a river that inspires many of his poems and songs.

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