(Mike Allen)
Presidential candidate Ben Carson has a fun theory about pyramids. (Mike Allen)

The Riverbank

by Andy Bowen

Barefoot by a river bank
Is not just a country music cliché.
It really is a different state of being.
Naked by a river bank
takes the the situation to
a whole other level,
but that’s not what this story is about.
This day, we were just barefoot.
The cheat felt impossibly cool
and seemed almost to grow
under and around our bare soles.
The wind played the leaves
and the new buds like a love song.
The water rushed hard to the ocean
in a race with the bass and the trout
and the turtles that breathe it.
You and me might have been
the only two things not movin’ that day.
Seemed like all else was in a flight
or a rush
or a wiggle
or a fall.
So much more about spring is fall
than we notice or give it credit for,
but we
we were still.
Still enough to feel the Earth move around us.
Still enough to let the oxygen in through our pores
and around our lungs.
Still enough to lose minutes
and hours
and days.
An age.
Still enough that all else
that we’d ever given ourselves to
passed out of whatever world
holds that river bank.
We made love in our bare feet.
Perfectly still.
And you cried.
And I didn’t stop you.
Your tears felt sacred;
like they’d give up secrets to science
In the right light.
I just watched them fall;
watched them sink into dirt;
watch the grass give thanks;
Felt jealous.
I focused all of my compassion
and empathy
and patience
and all my will in my eyes
so that you’d see what you need
if you’d only have looked up.
You wouldn’t just look up.
I felt tree roots begin to grow
between my toes
and around my ankles.
I decided to stay.
You decided to see the ocean.
A twitch in your neck;
a clinch of your fist,
and I knew that words would not stop you.
When you broke the stillness, I cried.
I watered the roots around me
until they muffled me.
I became the river bank.
And you never turned around.

(Editor’s Note: To submit poetry, prose, short stories, art or other creative writing for Sunday Funday, please write to Other submissions for commentaries or reporting can be sent there as well. NonDoc accepts submissions from all over the world and seeks to provide a platform for a diverse group of voices. As always, Letters to the Editors can be submitted by emailing )

Previous editions of Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday 11/1: Bacon to be Born Again

Sunday Funday 10/25: ‘Words’ for the King of the Fall 

Sunday Funday 10/18: We died happy, offline

Sunday Funday 10/11: ‘Seeing life in all its folly’

Sunday Funday 10/4: Land and time not in my backyard

Sunday Funday 9/27: New definitions, baseball and Short Order Poems

Sunday Funday 9/20: With others ‘losing,’ Trump says, ‘Hadouken!’

Sunday Funday 9/13: Kanye West and a man who smells

Introducing Sunday Funday from Mike Allen