Les Menhirs

                        Menhirs, or long stones, are thousands year-old upright carving set in fields, likely used for rituals related to fertility and death.

A river begins
at the top of a mountain, from rainfall
or spring, gathers mass, gains speed,

quenches a dusty bone, wets a meadow,
turns sheep to drier pasture.
We come from this,

seasons of trickle and rush, flood
and parch – the lucky break into the sea.
It is hard to see bruises on water.

If we can just reach ocean, even harbor
or lake, our only duty will be to heal.
Confide to fish, if they’ll listen.

To snails, if they can hear.
We gather containers to hold us for a bit, until
the next bend— like a bowl carved

before the harvest, a quilt sewn
though there’s no new life to swaddle.
Standing over that water,

on a spot less bridge than plank,
the call comes from the deep, come back,
we’ll make a way.

from “Akhmatova’s Egg”  (Toadlily Press)