Unrequited

Karen Shepherd

He was a river cultivating momentum,
a heavy winterís thaw eagerly released,
pushing through bends,
urging the salmon to swim against him.
He believed in movement,
traveling from mountain to sea
running his tongue against every shore and rock,
tasting the smooth, the jagged, the hidden-deep-under.
Pounding in the spring, drying up in the summer,
he exhausted every season.
He challenged the pond,
raising her levels, stirring her sediment,
breaking her stillness that she adorned with lilies.
He wanted to wear her edges down
to show her that the ripple from a thrown stone
still fades after spreading across an increased surface.
She built up her grasses, let fibrous roots
stop the erosion, held her bank in place.
They always watched each other in the dappled forest light,
the rushing and the stillness both holding the same shadows. †



 

Karen Shepherd is a public school special education administrator who enjoys reading, writing and reflecting on the small moments in daily life. She lives with her husband and two teenagers in the Pacific Northwest, where she enjoys paddling in her kayak, frolicking in forests and walking in the rain. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nairobi, Kenya.

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