© 2017 saracoffin.ca

Background Photo Credits: Michelle Doucette

 SPine of the River

Editing and Installation Performance: Sara Coffin
Poetry Collaboration: Sara Coffin and Jessica Magonet
Videography: Jason Kofke


Recorded on the Yukon River with the Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency, August 2019

Spine of the River

i dreamt i was the river breathing
the river weaving
her silty silk through earth and stone
the river leaving
banks behind
seeking solace in salts and tides
returning
to her ocean home

 

the river we had damned and dried
the river we betrayed

 

its time we paid tribute to our tributaries

 

trace the river though the spine
its dips and turns
its twists and curves
long paddle stroke swerves
around the bend

 

the painter says
ancestral fish still swim within me
hiccups reveal their gills

 

trace the river through the spine
these rocks are well-worn vertebrae
liquid whispers in the cracks

ribs arch beneath my skin
like the hull of a canoe

 

we skip stones

driftwood bones
frame sunlight
aqua veins
spun tight
they know current's lonesome call

 

trace the river through the spine
laying wet within diaphanous depth
i let the river carry me
the way my mother did
from her body into mine
through water

Texted edited and arranged by Jessica Magonet