Birth River

If only I could slip into the water

Beneath that thin skin of surface

Breathe easily in the alien current


Possess gills like little red fans

Flickering slightly with each breath

As, with one wiggle of my spine

I glide over smooth speckled rocks


Then I could tickle the salmon

Pinch their dark mottled tails

With my small sharp teeth and lie,

Companionable, in the pale green

Glacial water, scenting the birth

River with my snout


Jump to complete the cycle

Laying my eggs in the shallows

Then rotting, scales from my silver

Skin washed up on the bank, my flesh

An eagle’s meal, my bones mixing

With the driftwood, becoming at last

The stuff of a beaver’s dam



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