The sky above the valley
would have been difficult in a jigsaw puzzle:
blue with occasional puffs of cloud.
The slope down was an artist’s dream:
sturdy trees, manifest green heads
and strong engaging trunks
carpeted around by swirls of cow-trimmed grass.
The river was wide, smooth, inviting—
so easy to slip in
and drift away downstream.
The water was cool, quenching skin’s heat;
the sky was blue as a lover’s eyes:
one could fall up into a lover’s eyes
undistracted by swimming, not hearing
the soft purring downstream
knowing but not knowing
the speeding current
caressing gently then
clutching with icy fingers
the swimmer’s heart.
White water slapped
the swimmer’s eyes too late:
the driving sluices sucked all
between the jagged boulders
bruising, shredding bone, gouging flesh—
They met on a dance floor:
he was consulting his watch,
heading for the office
to call the agency;
she was the DJ
and she was late.
He was struck by her terrifed pale blue eyes;
she bathed in his patient understanding.