Near the Poplars Drinking • Barry Ballard

No one will recognize my momentary
disturbance buried in the river's sinking
sand. The voice of my conscience wrestling
with itself will have already cleared
the walled-up porous sanctuary
of polished gray stones. The poplars drinking
from the edges of the mind confessing
will have already straightened from what they've heard.

Even the quiet silver pools, that once
held my questioning reflection, will have spilled
the envious sunlight inside me. (It fell
into the spillway rushing away.) And the hunt
of my footsteps all covered by the hard-shelled
remains of a life with wings, something fulfilled.