Posted in Joseph Hesch, poem, Poems/Poetry, poetry

Rapture in Rivertown

Discarded tree 1

With January’s ice-scrim mist,
this riverside neighborhood
turns back to photo-proof
black, white and gauzy gray.
Holiday colors have faded
like mid-September memories.

Tinder-dry once-evergreens,
erstwhile harlequin window beacons
for passing ice-breakers,
now lie exhausted on streetside,
snow-dusted Christmas gravestones,
waiting for the herald crash and call
of the trash collecting Rapture.

And ice-darkened perennial trees,
stand sentinel nearby
at snow-footed attention,
lean black cemetery guardsmen,
their uniforms on backorder
until a too faraway Spring.

This poem came from my walks and runs along the Hudson shore over the past 20 years. During the holidays, you could see the gumdrop-lit Christmas trees in windows over in Rensselaer. By early January, they were gone, the snow had come and the ice had choked the river. “Rapture in Rivertown” is what I recall and imagine of those days.

– Joseph Hesch

© 2014, poem and photograph, Joseph Hesch, All rights reserved

Hesch Profileproduct_thumbnail-3.phpJOSEPH HESCH (A Thing for Words) is a writer and poet from Albany, New York , an old friend of Bardo and a new core team member. Joe’s work is published in journals and anthologies coast-to-coast and worldwide. He posts poems and stories-in-progress on his blog, A Thing for Words.  An original staff member at dVerse Poets Pub website, Joe was named one of Writers Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer’s “2011 Best Tweeps for Writers to Follow.” He is also a member of the Grass Roots Poetry Group and featured in their 2013 poetry anthology Petrichor Rising.


Writer and poet who's spent decades writing for The Man. Still do. Except now I'M the man.

5 thoughts on “Rapture in Rivertown

  1. Really fine poem, Joe. I love the Christmas trash and gravestone references.

    While you are waiting for spring, we’d love a bit of cold and snow. It’s unseasonably warm here in the San Francisco Bay Area. People are walking around in shorts and we are officially in drought. Yikes!

    I do miss New York winters, though it’s a real mixed bag there these days too. 😦


  2. Love this poem, Joe. I always feel sorry for the trees, discarded has-been’s ~ tinseled and dressed for the occasion, then stripped bare of natural glory…It’s almost an obscenity. Am I being Bah Humbug? 🙂


  3. Excellent but probably more fun for me than most. We have seen the same sight! I as Mummy picked me up in Dobbsferry and drove me home passing through Albany, Renselaer on towards Weston, VT. Absolutely “gumdrop” lights. And those “ice breakers,” we watched them each year behind our home slugging down the West River. However, is was not over the last twenty years. But in the 50s & 60s. I like how this made me feel Joe. Thank you.


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