Love Note to the Eau Claire River

Jan Carroll

You’d have little song but for these interruptions,
little music if not for what you run up against
below the surface. Little character without such debris.
Without degrees of redirection, nothing near your actual
appeal.

You (the wonder!) hatch insect life
that feeds the swallow
in arabesque
and yet

you weight down the world
for its own good with the layered
sandstone you’ve been carving into
faces for ages.

And the dying trees who’ve lived
whole lives on the edge
of your one moving melody, lean over and hope
they might fall into you
one day, blurring
river, blurring
shore.

Jan Carroll is a local freelance writer and proofreader and a graduate of UW-Eau Claire. She has always loved living near rivers – the Wisconsin, the Chippewa, and the Eau Claire.

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