When I heard your muffled cry
above the sound of rushing water
and looked up to see you there
clinging to that bridge
amidst a dragging current
kayak mostly submerged

My heart stopped
and my instinct started
all in an instant
yet across an eternity

Numbed toes sprinting
as the cries continued
bending down
to reach you in time

Unwilling to let go
until recognizing arms of safety
pulling you out
from the frigid water

I will never forget
that look of terror and confusion
eyes that appeared to cry
but could produce no tears

Still in shock and disbelief
I tried to salvage the kayak
too heavy with water to pull back out
we forced it under the bridge

When it became stuck
all I could see
was you
if I hadn’t gotten there in time

Kayak eventually freed and retrieved
we thawed out
in the car
in silence

An hour later
in warm dry clothes
it was as if
we’d never ventured outside

We may try to forget
but, the river knows

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