I float down the river.
It can be any river imagined.
Yet it is here despite a vision
Devised to make it real.

It stretches back in time
To the Big Bang
And into a nearly imaginable future
Until the Earth is swallowed
By a dying expanding sun
That swallows our planet fully as it is engulfed.

Such ponderous thoughts that these are
Strike into me
As I float downstream
In my very small space and time
On this planet.

I watch and feel as I float.
There are sparkles in the water
As I watch my one child born.
There are daunting currents to transverse
And there are dangerous dreadful places
Where one can drown
Such as I did when I almost died
From pneumonia.

Yet the river goes and goes forward
Despite our individual placement in it.
It goes past me just as surely as I will pass away in it.
Others, though, will keep passing downstream
Past my time.

These others are of me.
They follow me
As I have followed ever so many before me.

Float in this stream forward
As best as you can,
My unknown fellow humans
Who eventually will also know the river’s end
For yourselves.

Please ride the waves and the downward surges,
And learn from all of the river’s ways.

We can all learn until the sun evaporates our river
Or something else does
Even if we cling to shorelines
As hard as we can
To hold on during tumultuous times.

Sally Dugman lives in MA, USA.


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