Hide me not behind a veil

Of pouring waterfall

Through which I breathe

A sputtered breath


Nor pin me to a wall

Hard and cold and unforgiving

I watch the caged beast pace uneasily

Left with blood on lips


Unable to rinse clean

In pure waters of the river

Down to which she tilts her head to drink

Waters flowing like silk in the wind


Now tainted with the color red

Pour into pink ribbons of a young girl’s hair

Disturbing as hillsides draped with swaths

Of dying trees once green


And full of life’s broken promises   

Captured in the currents

Slammed into a rock mid stream

Or drifted to a shore upon which I never meant to be


Tangled with the upstream trash

Snared in the hollow stream

I tire of trying to stay afloat

And wonder if I’ll learn to breath