This year the river rages

past early swimming holidays.

It’s still not summer water,

pulls the kayakers under,

snowmelt and current, dam

releases, a full-grown bear

almost swept away, emerging

battered and coughing on the near

shore to disappear, chastened

maybe, lucky. Even sons

and daughters born here, who

know each boulder by name

and have swum its length

a thousand times, are wary.

Mike Stewart, video capture, Washington, CA
Photo by Mike Stewart, Washington, CA

Editor’s note: Molly Fisk is a Nevada County Poet Emerita, prolific writer and avid swimmer. These days, she stays ashore waiting for the waters to be safe. Be like Molly.