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,
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
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.
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;
I focused all of my compassion
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. )