Rites of Passage

by Christine Adams Beckett

For Lizzie

Snow fell in gentle waves
caressing the banks of a river,
singing a lullaby in steady whispers
over a harnessing, ancient dam.

Inclement warmth and winter rains
melt the icy duvet that draped the native
mountain laurel surrounding a lake
that knows only one outlet –

This channel that ushers its bursting waters
to an entirely new place
where there is room to spread
their anxious liquid wings:

An ocean, limitless, starting at its delta,
its alpha, autonomy, possibility, under
the warmth of the sun that raises weightless clouds
and will guide our waters home, again.