‘Across the Creek Is the Other Side of the River’
APRIL 3, 2015
Credit Illustration by R.O. Blechman
By CHARLES WRIGHT
My father told me bedtime stories from mythology. They were cautionary tales, and it wasn’t long before I saw how they gave figurative context to life’s ordinary events — how myth could speak to our grief or hubris or vanity. In this poem, Charles Wright gives us a glimpse into a private moment of contemplation with a startling reference to the journey of Orpheus.
Across the Creek Is the Other Side of the River
No darkness steps out of the woods,
no angel appears.
I listen, no word, I look, no thing.
Eternity must be hiding back there, it’s done so before.
I can wait, or I can climb,
Like Orpheus, through the slick organs of my body.
I guess I’ll wait,
at least until tomorrow night, or the day after.
And if the darkness does not appear,
that’s a long time.
And if no angel, it’s longer still.
Poem selected by Natasha Trethewey.
Edwin Holgate (Canadian, 1892 – 1977) 1921