This week’s poem, by Tyler Smith, offers us a contemplative moment by the river. I love this poem’s rushing current of imagery, its timeless simplicity and the subtle shift in its second line when repeated as its last.

Smith is a lifelong Maine resident and a recovering addict. He owns his own small construction company and enjoys writing poems in his free time. He has self-published two poetry collections. He comments, “Writing has been a big part of my recovery and has at times saved my life.”

Down, by the river
By Tyler Smith

Down by the river.
Watching the water walk across the rocks.
Rippling, wrinkling, whirling, churning,
Burning to be, back where it was.

The weight of the world washes it away.
Staying the same for a shimmering second.
While the world neglected to notice.

Staying the same through constant change.
Shape shifting, through the drifting, of the silt.
Living with the guilt, of a perceived paradox.
Watching the water, walk across the rocks.
Megan Grumbling is a poet and writer who lives in Portland. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. “Down, by the River” copyright 2021 by Tyler Smith, appears by permission of the author.

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