“I walked another river today” (Eric Muhr/Unsplash)

It is long since we talked, since we walked
the Hudson like we used to. Long since

the rabbits in the bushes watched us darkly
as we hopped together, you dropping,

like a reflection, down the sidewalk glare.
I walked another river today, through

a latticework cast by trees, a cool breeze.
I didn’t notice you. Water frothed

on rocks I could not see. Limbs creaked
in the wind, and I said something

to my companion about the fangs of the earth.
I stepped, snapped a branch, and smiled

in some way darkly familiar. I wonder now
if you were there, smiling along,

a snap that breaks out in the woods and is gone.

John Linstrom is series editor of the Liberty Hyde Bailey Library for Cornell University Press. His poems and nonfiction have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Atlanta Review, the New Criterion, the Antioch Review, and elsewhere.

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Published in the December 2020 issue: View Contents
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