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The River


By Fr. Bobby Gilmore

The river came out of the ground underneath the rocks
We watched and wondered where it came from
Drank it, used it for cooking
Washed ourselves
And our clothes in it
Animals sated their summer thirst
Transient birds stopping off
Heralded the seasons
On their way south and north
The mill race turned the water wheel
Setting the mill-stones grinding
Meal sustaining a population
In cake and porridge.
Progress arrived in the form of drainage
Flood plain gave way to meadow
Fertilizer seeped through the earth’s pores
Water became opaque
Birds passed by
Fish disappeared
Mill race silent
Water no longer potable
River without sparkle of life
A way of life obsolete.

Columban Fr. Bobby Gilmore lives and works in Ireland.

About us

Columban logoThe Columbans are a society of missionaries, including priests and lay people, who minister to people of various cultures as a way of witnessing to the universal love of God.

We go in the name of the Church to announce, by deed and word, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

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Missionary Society of St. Columban
1902 N. Calhoun
St, Columbans, NE 68056
Phone: 877-299-1920
Fax: 402-291-4984
email: mission@columban.org