The Riverwalk 

Sohini Mukherjee 

As the sun set by the Susquehanna riverwalk,  

the sky took a shade of orange, lively  

yet soul-soothing. The hills, newly clad  

in emerald, ripple like the sun rays  

on my caramel skin, whistling as I walk.  

The river’s wind pushes into my brown hair, sends me 

into a labyrinth of my fondest memories. One night,  

a sweet friend took me to the riverwalk.  

I heard the flowing water, saw the stars  

illuminate the night. I spent those summer days 

laughing with my friends and cracking the jokes. 

We watched ducks cross the river, fish swim next to us,  

and birds flying past. Paper airplanes fly above us,  

our hearts would long to board one, to go home. 

In the darkness, I swore the riverwalk  

was a confluence of the Indian rivers  

Alakananda and Mandakini. 

In a moment, my childhood days; 

I longed to hold my maa and baba’s hand again. 

The little neighborhood lights from the hills reminded 

me of home where the village women, up in the hills, 

would light oil lamps in the evening to perform their  

evening prayers and illuminate their little shanties. 

Intimidated to go on a walk by myself, once I  

learned that I am enough, how beautiful  

of a mind I have, my riverwalk strolls became  

the happiest instances of self-care. There is no fear 

of being judged or labeled at the riverwalk.  

The river accepts me for who I am and here I go, 

whistling my tune, being my authentic self.  

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