the river is liquid purple tonight

water purling over rocks

all play and frothy plumes

full of itself, rejoicing in its own existence

high, so high

and still the kayakers play

surfing the tumble around logs stranded

under a fading sky of blushing orange and gold

clouds of cotton pulled thin

dyed quiet pink and deep lavender.

I am cradled by a seat of cool stone

mosquitoes nibbling at my feet

air chilling, slipping toward

fall’s subtle surrender

heart expanded with wonder

and heavy with longing.

thinking of the could-have-beens

the still-I-wishes

other versions of this moment

where you and I stand at the bank

and watch the dying sun

the river laughing up at its creator

in wild rippling beauty fading toward

the navy robes of night.

of all the things my hands have held

the best by far is you

sings the headphone melody in my ears

backed by the chanting worship of crickets

ringing, ringing, soft and persistent

and the words are true.