The 2River View 26.4 (Summer 2022)

Vivian Wagner

Love Story

Maybe I’m a fraud,
returning home to look
at the boulders and river
as if they’re in a gallery,
and not a real place,
but this ditch is at least
as good as the next one,
arresting with its poker face,
its smooth lake,
its anglers on a budget.
I could stay here.
I could drink this water forever.

Notes Before Dawn

The great blue heron
wasn’t there,
though I saw a branch
that I thought,
at first, was him.
There were no dead
fish, unlike the ones
I’d seen motionless
at the bottom
of the riverbed yesterday,
gills torn by the kindness
of catch-and-release.
The sun hadn’t yet come up,
and darkness settled in colder
there at the base
of the cañon.
The dog sniffed,
and night considered
letting go its hold.

Vivian Wagner lives and writes in Alaska. Her nonfiction and poetry have been published widely, and she’s the author of several books and chapbooks. (website)

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