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  • Ryan Rowe

The Stream

I stand in an endless stream. A sparkling, beautiful stream. Even though there is so much pollution and muck, I can’t help but call it beautiful. I feel the waves all around me, drawing me. It’s a pull to move along. I stay where I am, a stone embedded in the stream’s foundation.

I don’t wish to move, not yet. The stream likely goes on and on but I have yet to see all the sights right where I am. I haven’t grasped all the stones in the stream. Feeling their perfect imperfections—their dents and bulges. If I don’t understand all that is now, I do not wish to move along. Unfortunately, it’s not my choice.

The stream unearths me.

Exposing me to the filth, tainting the silver of my stone, my body.

Exposing me to the stream banks, places I can be pushed into and permanently chipped.

Exposing me to the erosion caused by the stream itself, slowly causing the loss of myself,

only amplified by being in the open.

I desperately try to get back to the ground, the foundation. My beginnings. I was safe


Now I am just a pebble on this long ride. If only I was stronger. If only I had more time.

If only I was a rock.

I am rocked, slamming against the stream foundation. Begging to be nestled into safety.

Unfortunately, it’s not my choice.

I carry on in the stream. So fixated on what used to be, I notice nothing. Not the beauty of

leaves above me, calmly falling, not struggling against what is meant to be. Or the other

pebbles alongside me. I could have gotten to feel them. To know them.

No. I break myself against the rocks and am completely unprepared for the fall. The

opening of the river into the delta.

As I finally look around me, as my movements slow, I see I am at the end of the stream.

I thought the stream was everything but now I see it leads to something so much bigger.

The ocean.

It seems so endless. It is filled with poison and ravenous creatures. A bruised pebble like

me could disintegrate so easily there. I’m not ready, and yet here I am.

I’m so afraid, but even so, I can’t help but call it beautiful.



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