“The Hudson River in Winter” by Robert Milby

Morning Hudson River has ice on its face;
Ice on its skin in late January.
Ghosts fly low to kiss ice bouquets in its powerful arms, jeweled cloak;
Hair rivulets and tribulations of Winter blue.

I shout crow poetry from a sleep-deprived bridge in auto thunder,
Thinking of Parisi and his darkened theatre.
Considering restraint before the sunrise,
Yet remembering the brevity of human existence
And yearning for the warm freedom of my beautiful lover’s embrace.
She shall leave and return, leave and return–a river of emotional
Power, a capsized boat carried far away.
Yet in this river, there is magic.
Logs return, gulls return, eagles introspect introverted hawks.
Currents of human struggle.

We are ensnared in the satraps of poisoned modernity.
We beat conundrums of confusion and confession.
And the river is a witness to our fervor; a mirror to our passion,
A quiet repository of grief, of joy, of mystery, and constancy.

And will you drag the psychic river of your thoughts–turbulent flow
Of dream fragments or simply drive over the bridge, never pausing,
Repeating the turgid commute into older age when blood cools
And fears are kept like animal husbandry or pets nestled by the hearth?

I do not wish to marry Lethe or the foggy regrets of my past.
But I shall follow ghosts, curiously, until they no longer have ice on their faces.

(This poem first appeared on the Riverspace web site.)

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