Perceptions of the current, while they count,
contribute less success than would a paddle.
We put our oars in, hoping they amount
to mastering the flood-swept log we straddle
while shouting out instructions neither hears

while the river of the universe cuts slack
and lets us breathe a little while we tumble
to where we realize we can’t turn back,
and beyond the rapids’ roar we hear the rumble
of a waterfall that drops a million years.

I ship my oars and you throw yours away.
You turn around.  The sun makes you resemble
the girl you were our second wedding day.
Returning recognition makes us tremble
and the freedom of the hopeless lights our eyes.

We each slip toward each other, taking care
to keep our log from twirling while approaching
the eternal falls, and, when we’re almost there,
you lean and kiss me just when we are broaching
and The Us takes flight while something lesser dies.

This poem was inspired by Catharina Reynolds’ painting ‘Perception’. The poem and painting were featured with accompanying music on Judy Labriola’s website ‘Euphoria‘.

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