Big River Estuary

Sit with me, stay by my side
I am the geography of your lives
give me your worries to feed my currents
give me your dreams to ferry the salmon upstream
give me your hopes to fill the night sky
watch the moonlight skate across my back
the sun seep into my pores.

Lean against my shoulders
that have born the weight of storms
mud running down my sides
shoulders that have trembled
at the indifference of people
leaving plastic in my lap
pesticides deep inside my veins.

Look up at the redwoods, 240 million year descendants
the nests of egrets and herons in her tangled hair
once home of the Pomo
once stripped bare by sawmills.

Bring your canoes and kayaks carrying
your fears and anxieties across my wrinkled brow
I have memorized your footprints in the sand
your melancholy and your secrets
the boats discovered bottom up on the beach at dawn.

Rest with me a while, watch the color of fire
rise and set against my shimmering skin.


Poem and photograph by windflower

windflower, her wife, border collie and mini aussie live on the Mendocino Coast in Northern California. She attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for her undergraduate (English) and graduate (M.Ed. in English) degrees. She co-founded the Feminist Arts Program at the University of Massachusetts Women’s Center where she published and edited Chomo Uri, a women’s multi-arts magazine and produced the first National Women’s Poetry Festival in 1976. Her poetry has been published in several journals and in a handful of anthologies. windflower is also a photographer celebrating the poetry in nature.