Off the Pass

by Edward Alan Bartholomew 

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My thanks for stepping off the pass—

These lonely woods are dry. Alas,

The silent water swells nor sighs

Nor speaks but this: Forget the past. 

I stepped but once into the river,

Felt the current cut, and quivered

Long — and now she lets me taste

Her warmer waters. I forgive her. 

Nature is a straight, taut line—

Human nature's but a twine

Still tied by metaphor, and still

An oxymoron we design.