Peggy Turnbull: “The River’s Gift”




The River’s Gift

Once a girl found her way
in the evening, down a grassy path
that sloped and stopped beneath a bridge,
where she kneeled
on a beam of concrete shaped
like a mother’s apron
and dipped a jar
into the river’s mouth.

When her sample revealed
its pig-sty aroma,
the boys in seventh grade science
crowned her their goddess of gross,
admiring her
for the rest of the period
as she leaned to her notebook and microscope.

That was enough.
What did she care about adoration?
She’d just discovered microbes.




About the Author: Peggy Turnbull is an academic librarian turned poet who makes her home in the Great Lakes ecoregion of the U.S./Canada. Kelsay Press recently published her first chapbook, The Joy of Their Holiness. She has poems in recent issues of Poppy Road Review, Bluepepper, Mad Swirl, and Writing In a Woman’s Voice. Her favorite hobby is to take long walks.


More by Peggy Turnbull:

Night Ferry


Image Credit: Carol Highsmith: “The 225-foot-long Saco River Bridge, a covered bridge over the Saco River in Conway, New Hampshire. Built in 1890, the Paddleford-style truss bridge includes added arches and has a posted six-ton limit for crossing vehicles.” (2017) The Library of Congress

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