I will not make a poem of this. Wissahickon will remain

imperially ours, not rendered impossible by a poet’s word.

And yet, there is something to be said for the impossible break


in the river. For the rock-strewn crossing that fades halfway, as if to say

there is no need for an end.  For the way stones shoulder

the age of sentinel cliffs, and sap slows the progression of ants.


We spoke about it each morning, sliding down hillsides in too smooth

soles. Poems make of memory, history and I am keeping Wissahickon

for us. Besides, the woods are not metaphorically

beautiful—they burn in crimsons and ochres and reject

asylum to fantasy. And still you are


insisting on the poem, as if we haven’t thought

to make love by the Devil’s Pool, as if our roots


don’t share soil with the ferns.

Joyce Hida loves the city of Philadelphia, war literature, the Albanian language, and late-night comedy. She was a previous Best of the Net nominee for her work in Empty House Press, and has been published or is forthcoming in Kissing Dynamite, South Florida Poetry Journal, TYPO Magazine, and others. Joyce is currently based in NYC.