When I am a River

I will touch all the places
           along the shore
that were hidden
           to me. I will be tender
with the stones beneath my belly.
           Fish and crawfish
will swim in my hair.

I will receive
           the snow melt
and burst
           beyond where they thought
my place
           was, I will move
buildings, topple trees, bring mud
           rich with rot
onto the fields, it will be
           the same
as my former life, when
           they praise
me and
           curse me.

I will fall
           on my knees to reenter
the Mother, I will
           rise up to fall again
as rain, you
           will turn
your face to me and though
           it looks like weeping,
I will kiss you,
between us
           at last.


Adrie Rose plays with words and plants in unceded Nonotuck territory. Her work has previously appeared in The Night Heron Barks, Nimrod, Underblong, Muzzle, and more.  She won the Elizabeth Babcock Poetry Prize, the Ethel Olin Corbin Prize, and the Gertrude Posner Spencer Prize in 2021. Find her on Twitter @AdrieLovesPie.