The one I love flows neither back nor forth.
But count the rivers anyway,
unbraid them, make up clever names
to confuse the Indians, this
the woman thinks – let’s call her
Pocahontas. Older now, no longer
the girl who saved John Smith,
but standing with her back to him
in a quiet drawing room in London,
married to a man named Rolfe.
Both of them will die here
far from Jamestown and Chesapeake Bay.
The one I love, she thinks, rocks
under the wobbly tongue