Finn walks through the forest

by Robert Tremmel

high above the river.

Slow September current
twists and coils
along the banks
of islands worn down
to compass needles.

In the distance
barges grind upstream
and all around him
bears like great, shaggy
mounds of earth
are moving, savoring
the air, searching
for the last dry berries
on thick tangles of vine.

Finn asks the bear
walking beside him, what
his name is, how long
he has been traveling
and where he is going
but all the bear will say
is My name
is your name, where
I am going is where
both of us are
and somewhere up ahead
there is a clearing
in the trees, a sky
full of eagles
and all around streams
crowded with fish
and neither one of us
has any need
to get there, and these
like all the other
questions you want to ask
make no sense.