After High Water My grip feels weak the day after hiking with my wife to our swimming hole. My feet still buzz from combative interaction with rocks and gnarled roots through supple soles. We made an arduous trek along a tumultuous rain-swollen roar of turbulent water. I see so many instances of ‘u’ in these words, as if I rely on it to describe difficulty. And though cataracts churned from the confluence of countless trickles, the day I recall resembles the calm stretch, flat as the world, where I remove my clothes and enter the clear cold flow. I must power upstream to stay even with my wife who sits amused on the bank. She takes a photo of me standing on a bar midstream, my sunless skin overexposed. I re-cross the misleading current to join her, to re-dress on the rock where she waits beneath mountain laurel starting to bloom, debris from high water level with her head. Below us, in the reach as in the torrent, reside the water’s own repercussions.
Devon Marsh served as a U.S. Navy pilot before a career in electronic payments at Wells Fargo Bank. His poems have appeared in The Lake, Poydras Review, The Timberline Review, Muddy River Review, Penmen Review, Loch Raven Review, Remembered Arts Journal, Nightingale and Sparrow; short fiction in Into the Ruins; and an essay forthcoming in periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics. Devon lives in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
About This Poem
"The natural world offers abundant metaphors for understanding our inner selves. It’s ironic, perhaps, that looking outward aids introspection, but it does, and the effect for me is amplified by writing about an experience in nature. That’s how this poem came to be."