POETRY: By The Water Of Babylon, by Eloise Blanchard

river of babylon

The journey took forever, it seemed,
over wide valleys, smooth with wear,
over high hills, the occasional mountain, carefully,
across bridges over chasms with various ugly creatures in them.
When I got to the river,
it bubbled, swaying its way to the ocean—
a rhythmic flow—
and I lay down in the deep fine grass
hands outspread and thought I was
in the promised land.
But, like Moses, I was on the other side
the wrong side.
I looked over and knew it instantly;
knew the irrevocable nature of location, humanity, physical being
had put me there after long journeys, with people following blindly
and I could not get to the right side.
And folks on the other side were dancing—
a celebration of their river and their views.
The river flows inside me.
Always there, rhythmic, determining the tempo of my days.
Occasionally leaping its boundaries to remind me
in inconsolable pain that I am forever on the wrong side.


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