Take me down to the river, we say
and we mean we want to be washed
clean, freed from all this pain and
salt and shame. Un

-stain us from these words we’ve
said, these lies we’ve spread,
these things we’ve pledged
under the duress of

time and tide and the end
-less tirade of our own skin.
We begin with the tributary
of truth, tribulations

loosed to these raging waters
of our own making. We’re for
-saking nothing more than
our own souls and

nothing less than each bright
dry thing. Fling them in and
watch them float, bloat them
-selves on sacred flow,

slow in their own undoing.
We cast stones and hope
they’ll hold, grow old as
we wait for morning.

We shed tears, years,
baptize our own faces; trace
these blue veins to
a place we can rest.




prompted by poets united





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11 Responses to Spillways

  1. Kir Piccini says:

    I love the thought that crying as a form of baptism. BRILLIANT! (and now I’m tearing up a bit)

  2. Goose. Bumps. Goodness, de…those baptizing cleansing tears in the closing and the use of the language of water and sound within your well chosen words…such a treat to read you…as always. I’m late to the party, too! 🙂

  3. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    time and tide and the end
    -less tirade of our own skin.

    Such powerful lines! 🙂

  4. s says:

    Now I’m humming “Paradise City.”

  5. “We begin with the tributary of truth”….wow! and “grow old as we wait for morning”. What a fabulous poem this is! I so loved reading it!

  6. I, too, love this. And the idea that when we dare to cast stones, we should remember to throw them down the river floating upon all of our own sins. The first two plus stanzas are great – I can so relate – we start out a blank slate, but inevitably we do need that river, don’t we?

  7. Susan says:

    If only we could take all that to the river, find the tributary of truth and release, release, release. And be reborn. Until then, those tears will have to do. Release, release, release. (What an odd word, re-lease!)

  8. Old Egg says:

    Tears of regret and sadness are much like confessing our sins and being washed clean. Having a good weep often make us feel better doesn’t it?

  9. glmeisner says:

    Riding a watershed to the place of rest. A great take on the prompt.

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