from Stops Along the Western Bank of the Missouri River: Of the River Itself

f
This is my advice to foreigners:
call it simply—the river;
never say old muddy
or even Missouri,
and except when it is necessary
ignore the fact that it moves.
It is the river, a singular,
stationary figure of division.
Do not allow the pre-Socratic
to enter your mind except
when thinking of clear water trout
streams in north central Wyoming.
The river is a variety of land,
a kind of dark sea or great bay,
sea of greater ocean.
At times I find it good discipline
to think of it as a tree
rooted in the delta,
a snake on its topmost western branch.
These hills are not containers;
they give no vantage but that
looking out is an act of transit.
We are not confused,
we do not lose our place.
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