Monday, May 23, 2016


The river turned on her, angry.
Churning water, debris
swirled monstrous around her.

But rivers have rocks,
and in the middle,
“one higher
than I,” she told me.

She climbed upon it,
stayed to her knees, footing unsure.

And the river became an ocean swelling,
spray mighty.  Flecks of sand stung her skin.
Winds rushed.  She closed her eyes.

It raged— it drenched, it raged, raged—
and receded.  A parting of the sea.

And she stood, unscathed,
though not unaffected.

Chains, foul and bound to her infected flesh,
infected heart, had been torn away.
Miseries vanished, banished
like ghosts themselves spooked.

And to the other side—she leapt
to the meadow in sunlight
of promises kept,

and keeps
on leaping
further, farther,

now she’s free.

© 2016 Jennifer Wagner

From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61:2


Buddah Moskowitz said...

I love your descriptive power. I felt the pull of the water and the could feel the desperation and fatigue. Yes, holding on through the storm, the raging river is possible when you hold one to the rock what is higher than I. I tend to read the Bible metaphorically, and you've applied it perfectly here. Yes, finally she's free. Thanks, Jennifer

Jody Lee Collins said...

Jennifer, what a beautiful, powerful poem about clinging to our Jesus, the Rock.

brudberg said...

This is such a strong description, reminding me of some of those images I have in my head after reading of what happened after the great Tsunami in 2004... those who survived the river, and where saved.... but then there is the metaphor you reflect in the quote that make it even richer.

Tank said...

Great writing, I love the vivid images! Nice work hun.

Grace said...

I love the redemption towards the end Jennifer ~ Such a joyous ending and that psalm is very inspiring ~ Have a good week ahead ~

Wendy Bourke said...

An eloquent narrative - beautifully drawn and stirring.

janetld said...

I'm glad she found that rock. A wonderfully penned poem on survivorship.

grapeling said...

this also has echoes of Greek myth ~