Toward the River: A Poem of Hope

Toward the River…

Toward the River
I saw the bird-tipped tree
written strong
against the smoke-faded
hills and sky
Living paintbrushes
entwined as silhouette
amidst destruction
resting there
holding space
and promise
for tomorrow

Leah Kelley
February 23, 2018

Image: Square black and white photo of trees with no leaves – and birds silhouetted on the ends of the branches. Text of poem (above) is overlaid with a misty blue background.

I began this poem in August 2017, as we drove along the smokey Thompson River in the fire ravaged interior of British Columbia. I kept those few scribbled lines on a scrap of paper, and finally came back to the image of the bird-tipped tree this past while. It is connected now to other things I am witnessing, and in part written in homage to those who push back against oppression, in solidarity with their vision and enduring commitment to work for justice in our world.


30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.

© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism, (2018)


About Leah Kelley, Ed.D.

Leah Kelley, M.Ed, Ed.D., Writer, Consultant, Activist, Speaker, and Educator, working with Teacher Candidates at UBC. Authors blog: 30 Days of Autism. Projects support social understanding, Neurodiversity paradigm, Disability Justice, and connecting Disability Studies in Education(DSE)to Educational Practice. Twitter: @leah_kelley Facebook: 30 Days of Autism: Leah Kelley
This entry was posted in Activist, poem, poetry, social justice and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Toward the River: A Poem of Hope

  1. Mary says:

    Your poem is beautiful. Powerful.
    Yesterday, we drove along the Thompson River. Your words describe exactly my image of the space in 2021. Thank you.


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