A girl sits by the Knife River.
She is twelve, and her hair
a tangle of twigs and braids.
Her feet dangle in rushing
water colder now in early
September with rain sprinkling
off heavy leaves. She feels
wetness on her skin, goose
bumps stippling her arms
but she is far off where clouds
can’t touch her, only the old
frogs croaking sweetly by mossy
rocks and fish songs rising
from the river’s depths, that old
melody of change and cold,
and before long the winter bears
huffing down from beyond the moon.