Another Old Poem for dVerse Poets Pub: “East Twin Tour” {For Dad}

Another Old Poem for dVerse Poets Pub: “East Twin Tour” {For Dad}


Ten. I counted how many poems in my book are about water, mention water or use water metaphorically and I counted ten poems. I grew up alongside a long river with a tiny creek that fed into it and only thirteen minutes from Lake Michigan. When I left home and moved to a larger city, my house was only a block and a half from Lake Michigan. When I married my husband and moved to his city, I was ten minutes from Lake Michigan and only two minutes from a long river that wound through the local park.

Water has had such an important place in my life that it’s no surprise that it’s played an integral part in my poetry since I was a little girl. I’ve always loved taking pictures of bodies of water and boats…I mean, what would a gondola be without water in an Italian canal, right? (Had to find a way to slip in my picture from Venice.)

Since there are ten poems in my book mentioning water, I will have to pick just one. So here it is:

East Twin Tour
{For Dad}

If I were to assign a smell to this river muck
I’d say it was melted copper dipped in honey
And rancid tartar sauce

The stomach of this river
That has digested myriads of oak leaves and steelhead trout
And enveloped my feet into its mushy folds
As I tried to capture gargantuan crayfish
Which threaten everyone with their burgundy pinchers
Guarding their armored bodies

I’ll point to all the brightly colored fishing lures
That I snagged in the trees or sunken logs
When I over cast my rod
After seeing the swirl of the catfish
We can never catch
(Do you think it was “Elmer”?)

I can show you where the water is so low
That the canoe cannot slide across the filmy surface
When the cotton woods drop their silky locks
And we are beached helplessly
Left only to pick out the river clams from the silt bottom

And when we are finally able to turn the boat against the current
I’ll show you the rapids
Where the water squirts and gushes and giggles
Over the softly rounded rocks that threaten our vessel
If we follow the wrong eddy
Of this clear liquid slalom course

I’ll take you further down the tranquil stretch
Where the cedars are like castle walls that protect us
On both sides like soaring, massive guards
That command silence and make the waters stand still

And when we get back to the bank close to the house
I’ll remind you of how funny it looked
When you fell backwards out of the canoe
While we stood on the dock laughing because we were still dry
And you were not

Digital nomad, introvert, author, certified English as a Foreign Language teacher, and lover of languages, plants, books, travel, culture, and most smoked food products...not in any particular order.

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