Williamson BrasfieldUntitled (Familiar(oil and wax on wood)

Ice locks the river in place and my heart
is static for the season and traversable.
Sometimes a boy about the age
my son would be adventures
half way across me before remembering
the duty to destroy the one thing
beneath him. He writes his name
on my rib; it says Curiosity. I reply
with the name I’ve learned to wear:
Distance. A panic of bluegill follows his body
downstream to where it meets the Columbia,
in time the ocean, which I cannot make freeze.
Next spring I will snare the things that still move in me,
beat them against stone, and eat until empty. I have
his name written all over my body; it says Forever
be Winter. My wife calls him Gabriel; after all these years
she still calls him Gabriel, and sometimes from the shore
she calls to me: Thaw.


John Sibley Williams