Today's poem is by Weston Cutter

If Not River

Minnesota Iím your river. I start distant, in
quiet. I ache for sceneís completion, will
flow till I get there and will wonder what
Iíll spill, when, where, etc. Minnesota
I rise and subside depending
on season, Minnesota I too swell in spring +
deserve my own Corps to tend locks
+ help with my overflow. I like waterís all or
enough: Iím made of 61 Highways and Minnesota
have you heard how I sound
when my sky fluoresces? Sizzling in dark
and cold, thatís what, Minnesota, shivers,
a whispering from the sky like a radio station
that died at sunset yet here we are, still tuned in.
I wonder about you, Minnesota. Iíve let
your winters finger me months at a stretch,
Iíve fallen (like who hasnít) for icy beauty, Iíve
gulped considering what lives in and/or through such chill, Iíve dived
into a lakeís hole, January, to prove something
about blood or where I belong, what I want
to know is this: Minnesota am I river
enough? What if Iím all boat?
Will you still love me Minnesota if I admit
that I, too, round up? That I donít have
ten thousand anything but Iím happy
to claim otherwise? So much water. All that
gouging. Minnesota you wear your trampled
past well and donít let anyone fool you: itís not
nice, that flinty gaze you cast west to prairie, north
to another country, east to a lake bigger than sin
but Minnesota donít pretend otherwise, itís not
niceness either of us have been after this whole time.

Copyright © 2012 Weston Cutter All rights reserved
from Sycamore Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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