To the River                                                      

            The opportunities to make our way
            Abreast were few –
            Even so, not taken –
            Out of preference perhaps,
            Or under the influence of the terrain,
            The lingering spell of narrow climbs,
            The wending through thickets and
            Clambering over the stumps of the fallen

            We kept within earshot,
            Exchanged leads without formality,
            Gathered for meals
            At the closest thing to a glade,
            Not tarrying

            As I stepped
            It was more than the racket
            Made from moving along the earth,
            The footfalls and breathing
            That broke the unintruded order
            Of the forest, but how,
            I thought, I carried my silent clamour –
            It was incessant, for all of us
            I’m sure, even when we spoke,
            Contending thus

            And everything alive around us
            Pushing under the sun’s slant light
            Through the unfinished canopy

            Only when we reached the river
            Tired, questioning, knowing
            We would have to cross,
            Its implacable sonority and flux,
            Were we crowded out of ourselves
            To link arms


            Emanuel E. García, 2014