The river only runs in one direction,
from the headwaters in splashing fields with children dirty in the mud,
to the streams and runoff which bleed out over the surface of the earth,
dripping through fields and over the edges of sidewalks and boulevards,
to recombine through tunnels beneath,
in time bursting forth to the surface from cracks in the walls with great force,
crashing atop and through even the most stubborn of obstacles with a foaming defiance
before settling once more into a deep channel to move sediment and self ever forward.
To what end does the river proceed?
Towards the deep of the sea, to be made to sink below on colder currents soon to rise by way of moving life (even here) or vents which spew heat from the core?
Towards the banks and shores to be drawn through roots and dispersed to branches and boughs and leaves, pine cones and needles to be retained through the dead of frozen winter?
Towards the puddles on blacktop or standing ponds and marshes bathed in rays of sun to be warmed and lifted to the sky?
When we drink from the tap are we filling our glasses with the river? The sea? The falling rain? The filtered discharge of trees, of fish, of birds, of turtles with cracked shells and yawning cheekbones?
When is the river a river, unified by the flow and in motion against all which stands in its way?
When is the river not a river, sedentary in pools and subject to the whims of boots and bicycle tires?
And when is the river a river once more, dripping and falling from bridges and rotted wooden planks to be swept away on the currents below?
The river only runs in one direction;
the water flows without bounds.