There is a strong river
Over the hill from my grandmother’s house
And although she does not know my name
She knows how and where I learned to swim
Picked up by the back of my shirt and waded in
She knows how I have grown
How skinny arms and slender legs have gone from floundering in the shallows
To fighting currents just to see if I can
She knows my laughter, my voice
Which of the rocks lining her bed would be my first, second, third choice
She knows where I learned how to fish,
Silver hook and knotted line diving in and out of the water with a flourish
She knows my sisters, my mother, my grammy, my father
She knows how I’ve hoisted my cousins on my back so they could see or jump or throw…just a little farther
She knows the curve of my rubber boats and the soles of my bare feet
She knows my wild, tangled hair and the flutter of my heartbeat
She knows what I’ve been searching for
From raccoons,  walnuts, and mushrooms to birds that soar
She has been with me
Every time I’ve fallen in, flipped the boat
Gotten everyone soaked
She always knows the way back home
Guided by currents and hickories and gurgling foam
She does not know my name
But she knows who I am

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Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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