The 2River View 22.4 (Summer 2018)

Karen June Olson

A River

A river snakes lowlands, gathers
rain and wind blown
seeds, ferries folks
and summer picnics,
a fishing pole, a kayak,
children who will leap off
a dock.

                   But a river is not
a dream—
                   it’s our fathers homemade stew, chemical
plants, the garbage barge, and weed-free
fields waving grain.

There’s a hush in the house
where the cards are dealt—what glow
leaks from the landfill?

All things run
all things run
down to the river.

We forget
what is drawn
from the faucet.

Voice Lessons from a Writing Class

She had forgotten her armor,
hid behind veils of addiction, relapse,
and crashed cars. Only the wall clock
spoke with loud ticking seconds. 
I wondered if she cared less
for poems and more for razors
to sharpen her voice.

In the valley a dirty wind
swirled. If I followed
her to the river
—would she keep her dress,
leave her boots in the reeds, cradle
                 Rivers speak stories in water.
I couldn’t hear
what she had left to say.

Karen June Olson is a writer from St. Louis. Her work has appeared in The Mas Tequila Review, Third Wednesday, Tipton Poetry Journal, ucity review, and here at 2River. She is working on her first book of poetry.

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