We lost the tungsten stream through fracturing birch limbs as we scouted by road. And (now is the time and place to admit it) we were wrong. Wrong in the way a cat miscounts or a fish is fooled by glint. We were wrong to think we understood the rivulet into which we set our little craft or to think we understood the obsession of these waters to flow from peak to sea quickly. Wrong to not see the clinched fist of its first punch our chests flung bare before ore so frothy we couldn't stop to ask how we’d landed here or how we’d missed this rocky mêlée. On my knees clutching the bow-sides I screamed hard left right straight ahead left left until . . . we settled into a pool quiet in the way a crocus stares down snow or in the way a day opens up to hold the winter sun a few more arcs or in the way we come to understand the power of a possibility we had never considered.
First published in Hobble Creek Review.
© 2012 Grace Curtis