by Paul J. Willis
Clearest stream, you wander here
from gravel bed to gravel bed,
napping in pools along the way.
You lave the roots of dusky cedars,
leaning with age, and reassure them
they have many years to leave.
Thick green moss describes your banks,
saplings of hemlock, little hands
of soft vine maple raised in air.
They want to ask if there is any other
place you’d rather be, but off you go,
down to the river, down to the sea.
—Ross Lake National Recreation Area