Poet Laureate of Cobourg

The River Under the Road

You can watch me read my 2021 New Year’s Day poem for the Mayor’s Levee launched in the Virtual Levee.

The River Under the Road

under the road flows a river
always moving in one direction
even when we forget it’s there

the current, like a heartbeat
presses on just the same
carrying everything
all of us home

maybe a white door
leads to a road lined
with coffees like warm luminaries
inviting friends, new and old
to join in community

maybe a yellow window
opens to a road lined
with clocks like adored toys
welcoming family, then and now
to join in relationship

maybe a red wall
hides a road lined
with canaries like lost choirs
carrying news, mine and yours
to join in song

maybe a black floor
covers a road lined
with candles like joyful children
shining hope, peace and love
to join in light

under the road flows a river—
we make the road
by redefining its lines
always rebuilding our homes
along our road together

By Jessica Outram

Written for January 1, 2021
Mayor’s New Year’s Levee
Cobourg, ON


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