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The River Witness

by Yolantha Harrison-Pace

My water churned and lashed
Angrily irritated
Trying not to swallow
The tender morsels of flesh
Trying to toss the dark skin
Back to the river bank
But her humanity was
Her enemy
Already marred and scarred
In ways unmentionable
If she would only relax and
Let me gently rock away her pain
But she thrashed around desperately
Not wanting to let go
Twelve years of memory
Swallow-shouted “Mamaaaaaa”
But mama couldn’t hear
Mama was working overtime
Earning the unimportant little extras
She would never see
Rock-a-bye, river girl, rock-a-bye.
Kerscrunch went the crimson painted screwdriver
Tossed out of the devil red Ford truck
I recoiled just enough to reject the unacceptable refuse
Later found by a young boy gone fishing
Slumber, river girl, slumber
I will ever treasure your breath in the secrets of my waterfolds
Rest, brown river girl, rest.

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