Her Passing Beauty


The Willamette drifts slowly through town

her journey from mountain to sea nearly over.

Soon she will join the Columbia for the last long reach

of brilliant light and rushing cloud, to give herself

to the surging bar and broad ocean.

From a weathered rock

looking down into her dark water

suddenly she offers a glint of reflected light

on a metal bright scale

and lifts the nape of her neck to the wind,

wanting me to notice

and love her passing beauty.

Across the Alvord