“There is a river whose streams
Make glad the city of
Go north, go east from Loudoun, past the woods,
Estates and fairways, down the ramp
Devoid of boats, quiet the winter long,
And dip your fingers in the frigid flow,
Enough to link to what the ancients knew.
This was Patawomeke, the great meeting place,
The river of geese and swans,
The Algonkian’s inland highway
“The desert and the parched land will be glad.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
And streams in the desert.
The burning sand will be a pool:
The thirsty ground, bubbling springs.”
From the western slope of the great divide
Into a land of red rock and cobalt sky
Another river flows, gathers silt,
Cuts a deep canyon through high plateau.
A rafter holds on tight for a coaster ride.
Once I pitched headlong, full immersion
In a rapid, swimming back from depths
To feel the sun again, breathless, grateful.
“Whoever is thirsty, let him come;
And whoever wishes, let him take the free gift
Of the water of life.”
The river waits, though the river doesn’t wait
For me. The river is on its own time.
The river is not the same river that it was
Nor what it will be, yet the same river,
Moving but immoveable.
God too is on his own time.
The river is the servant of God.
The Servant was here, is here,
and will be here. If we wait.
He too has an appointment with the river.
He will come to us on river time.
- Matt Brown