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River That Never Ran, a poem by Mary M. Brown

River That Never Ran
by Mary M. Brown

I remember the river that never ran
beside our house, the little boat we
never owned, never rowed,
the willows
that never swayed, dogwoods
that never bloomed. I remember
the bedroom I never shared with a sister

I never loved, the porch where we never
giggled together until deep dusk
when we never chased fireflies,
never whispered secrets until dreams
drifted toward dawn. I remember
a sky that never held white clouds
that billowed above a field
of violets
and button bush that never took root
and where the old dog we never named
Bligh ran wild through the tall grass
that never grew.

I remember the fence we never climbed,
the little bridge at the end of the dirt road
we never traveled, the way our granddad

never held out his arms so we could come
running to him, breathless and laughing
the way we always never did,
the way we
never needed anything else, never
anything more.

From Mary Brown: “I live and write in Anderson where I am retired after teaching creative writing and literature at Indiana Wesleyan University for thirty years.”