She lay there smooth, yet rough;
untouched by the pending day.
Her curves were gentle and gradual,
inviting and mysterious.
Her face perfection, it glowed in golden hues,
a reflection of that surrounding her.
The sounds around her beckoned her to awaken;
she just rolled over.
I wanted to touch her, get closer to her,
hear her breathe.
No time, I said. Even the dog knew.
We had places to go.
The sun rose higher and she seemed to cast off a blanket of fog
that had settled around her the previous night.
Her radiant skin rippled in response to the warmth of the day
and she began to stir.
Her quiet world began to come alive with sounds of birds
and dogs barking at nothing in particular.
A boat, eager for better fishing, shook her awake.
I kept moving.
Thinking that she would be angry at the abrupt disruption,
I waited for the echoes of crashing waves to scatter the land creatures.
Instead, they lapped at her curves and massaged her
back into her quiet rest.
She is used to the violent upheaval
and accepts it as inevitable.
She has seen, nay witnessed worse and has herself been engulfed, lost her shape
and then wondered if she would ever be the same again.
But she comes back, eventually; always ready for a quiet evening,
then night, then morning again.
When runners on her shore stare at her curves and
boats in her midst break up her silent world, if for a moment, as they pass.
She gathers the fluff of the cottonwood tree as easily as she
gathers the voices that have spoken over her across the years.
She welcomes all without condition or regard
as to how we will treat her…
… and she holds us in her memory.