The Same River Twice
by Mary Wescott
Through noisy thoughts
The river low,
Still clear in late August,
Caresses rocks, mottled on sides
That were under water when
Mountains were melting.
Small stones below the surface,
Perfect, haunting sculptures traversed by snails.
On the far bank the tall grass bends.
When he opens his hand in the river,
The river fills it.
When he closes his hand in the river,
His hand is empty.
* * * * *
Mary Wescott has been writing poetry since she was in first grade. She has a BA in English and Philosophy from Georgetown University and an MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon. She took 30 years off from writing poetry to teach school, beginning in 1987, and she retired last June. During her independent school career in Virginia, where she was known as Mrs. Riser, she taught English to students in grades 5-12; she was English Dept. Chair at the Blue Ridge School for Boys (1987-1992); she was Middle School Director at St. Anne'-Belfield School (1992-2007); and she was most recently Head of School at James River Day School (2007-2017). Now that she has put down her "Mrs. Riser disguise," she is back to writing poems.