Dedicated to the Susquehanna River
This morning the valley surrounding the river was heavy with fog. From the highest point, the trees looked just like islands, jagged and strange, solid and stationary anchors in a stormy sea.
The river is wide. She is fairly shallow. Unnavigable she has been called disdainfully by those seeking profits, due to her lack of depth and her rocky bottom. How dare she refuse to be the way that people want her to be?
She is dammed. And damned. Her flow is altered. She is harnessed, hemmed in. She is captive, and controlled. Her waters are funnelled, restricted. She is owned.
Her children no longer have a home within her. They have been chased away, a process begun many years ago. The sturgeon, the eels, the fish. Some gone, some scarce, flesh tainted with chemicals. She is both poisoned and poisonous. She grieves.
But still she moves. She slithers and snakes. She is dangerous and calm. She has shaped the land she lives in and has been shaped by it. She is ancient. She is serpent. She is swift. She has seen much.
She waits for rain. For her blood, for life to fall from the sky,
She waits to flood. She waits to rise, to be unleashed.
To swell and flow over her banks
Washing away the dams that hold her back.
She is mighty. She is fierce. She is power itself.
She waits. She is patient. She is lovely.
To be free.
Thank you for listening,