Tuesday, June 19, 2012

River Traffic

First there's the JetBoat, painted blue
and stuffed with screaming tourists. Throwing a rooster-tail wake,
sliding into crazy stop-turns.

Of course the geese, a small flotilla
hoping for bread. A lone mallard and her half-fledged chick
paddling behind the ramp, where the water's flat
even when hydroplaning motorboats
rock the dock.

Tall sailboats glide downriver, silent.
The wake they leave through downtown is raised bridges,
snarled traffic, impatient grumbles.
Kayak paddles slosh and dip,
yellow hulls low in the water
like diving ducks.

I share the dock with a crow,
like me, not quite at ease
with this space, not of but on water.
He picks at dried fish scales. I step
over fresh goose droppings.

By the opposite bank a boat
turns in the current, windshield catching the sun--
flash, one, two--
a double wink, confiding landsman's secrets
across the river's width.

The dock sways. There's solid ground
a few feet behind me.
We don't belong on water, the crow and I.
Yet here we are.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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