all entities inevitably leave
unfinished work remaining after death.
a river stirs, within its sluggish depths,
mixed sediment it ferries toward the sea;
dog-carcasses, swift fish, slow-bobbing wreathes
of vegetation - all of this is swept
downstream and, for that portion of its stretch,
the river has become what it’s received.
a river gives and takes; its shifting span
will nourish or destroy along the brink,
will silt broad deltas, carve through stone to bore
new channels. when diverted, dried or dammed,
all that the river carried simply sinks
in patient clay, or gasps along the shore.