I Asked the River
'Why do you run?' I asked the river,
'So fast I can't compete.'
'I run,' the river said, 'because
I have some streams to meet.'
'Where do you go?' I asked the river,
'And what do you do there?'
'I go to the valley,' the river said,
'Where I wash the rushes' hair.'
'Why do you sing?' I asked the river,
'Such a sweet and happy tune?'
'Because,' the river smiled,
'I'm having lunch with the sea at noon.'
'Why do you laugh?' I asked the river,
'You'll share the joke I suppose?'
'I woke the mountain,' the river grinned,
'By tickling his toes.'
Then the river shuddered, groaned and sighed,
The song of the streams and the laughter died,
And it whispered sadly, 'I can't, I can't,'
As it limped along like an ancient aunt.
'Now why do you wait?' I asked the river,
'And why is your current so slow?'
'Something holds me back, ' it said.
Its voice was faint and low.
'And is that why you're getting small?
Is that why you sigh?'
'I sigh,' the river said, 'because
I know that soon I'll die.'
'Why don't you fight for your life?' I asked,
'You only foam and seethe.'
'My lungs are clogged,' the river moaned,
'And I can hardly breathe.'
'Perhaps a rest,' I told the river,
'Would help to clear your head.'
'I cannot rest,' the river said,
'There's garbage in my bed.'
'What's this garbage,' I asked, disturbed,
'Which is clogging up your sand?'
'Poisonous waste and wrappers like this,
Which just fell from your hand.'