The Tiasquam snakes across the flats
like a student’s handwriting,
curving and back tracking, in no great hurry,
but fast enough to numb your ankles,
mumbling under its leaf mold breath.
Now well stuck in its rut
except for the dead-ends and cut-offs,
wrong turns filling with algae and flies —
it follows the low ground.
Some rivers flow through vast deserts
like long distance runners;
this stream doesn’t need to go that far.
It’s a self-help tape on infinite loop:
the way it digs itself a bed to ride in;
the way it whistles as it works.