Poetry by Sheila Panyam
She is my heart.
She runs along my side
Always loyal, never leaving, not once stilling,
Bringing with her the memory
Of lands we left behind.
She sprays and cries, harsh against the wind,
And is as wild as the forest through which she flows.
She whispers like the women of the villages,
Yet is playful as the child within her calls.
I see her smile
When the nights bring forth her silvery sheen.
Her belly fills with a good rain, then she gives a bubbly laugh
As the rays of the sun dance against her froth.
The river, she scares me; I see her scream.
Her face, as white and wild as a hurricane; she is defiant,
Hurtling against her boundaries, her limits, her ravines,
And then her rage ceases, and she drifts.
She pours into the sea,
Where she dissolves into memory.
The river is a tale, one about myself.
We have seen so much together.
She has become part of who I am,
And I do not want us to empty out into the ocean.