Towards the river

School girls cower under umbrellas—
rainbows streaking down dry, gray streets.
Housewives and salary men scurry into
taxis and department stores, their drivers and
clerks smiling, rubbing hands behind their
eyes.  A drop of rain, a cloud’s lost spear,
sparks down the front of the full bus
groaning over the bridge

towards the river.

Leaves tumble into my hair, under my
bike tires squealing over the pavement
throbbing with roots.  The wind curls
around the trees, around my legs.  They
creak, pulse, pray for five more minutes
of light.  White creeps across roofs, black
oozes along mountains, covering a
shivering sky, inching

towards the river.  

Cloud armies curl past the gaps in sky and
branches. White hands raise lavender swords
against the black jaws of cloud dogs.   The
sakura tree stretches, dropping leaves
into the water.  They float over the moon,
who sits in her patch of sky, giggling,
the last of purple day hiding all but a white
eye.  It sparkles at the marching

towards the river. 

Michelle Danner

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