Different crossings

from by no culture



well the river was frozen and the sun was near the hillside
we were hoping it was dark enough we wouldn’t have to hide
stealing from the empty cabins near the frozen tide

we found a hatchet, and some nails and a carving knife
and we found some woolen blankets for my ailing wife
and then we argued ‘bout whether we should stay here for the night

but we headed back out for the camp under greying skies
we were feeling pretty lucky as we carried our supplies
then I heard a dog barking and a shot rang by surprise
then my friend fell dead on the banks by the riverside
there was nothing left to him but the expression in his eyes

we were searching for a place that the trackers wouldn’t know
but we were easy to follow in the heavy winter snow
and the forest was sparse and there was nowhere else to go
so we started across the river on the icy flows

we had made it about halfway ’cross that frozen sheet
stepping so fast and light through my gritted teeth
but then I felt the ice give way out from underneath

I felt the sharp shock of frigid knives carving up my feet
and then the water went past my head within half a beat
my friends were being chased by the dogs on the other side
and the current had dragged me down for a final ride
the ice when I got back up was too fortified

now I wander the banks of the river all the time
looking for the woolen blankets that I left behind
and when I see a child playing outside in their winter gear
I lean in close and gently whisper in their ear
“you should cross the river child there’s nothing there to fear”


from River Post Motion, released March 1, 2016




Patrick Canning St. John'S, Newfoundland and Labrador

With the voice of an angel and cheeks every grandma longs to pinch.

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