This poem, in the ancient Persian form of the ghazal, explores that obsession with the river. The first in a series I hope to write about the Flint, it introduces some of the obsessive imagery I've carried with me over the years. This poem appears in the current Pembroke Magazine.
" ... say the past is a muddy
-- Evie Shockley
When she lowers her hands to the river
she feels many dead voices translating river.
Her fingers turn cold, but her lips part,
as if, like a hooked fish, she longs for the river.
Don’t look down, her mother warned; shifting
the Ford into second gear, crossing the river.
The drawbridge’s rusty spine still rattles
memories she tries to dredge from the river.
Old men cast their histories into the depths
she can’t reach. Stories keep shape-shifting over the river.
The trees keep their roots to themselves;
but they let their reflections be stroked by the river.
When she hears the cricket frogs singing,
she wants to lie down on the banks of the river.
Come night she hears voices. A drunken brawl. Somebody
cursing the day he was born. Somebody trying to drown in the river.
The backwater nags at her. Dare she strip
down to the bone and walk barefooted into the river?