with thanks to Aaron
flow gathering springs
transitive to flow up down
always through around and ever
Mid-river, the current
unforgiving, a construction crew
Is doing what it’s paid for.
One of them is a flinger of hoses.
First snake to spit out the mud,
second to calm it back level.
Clamber here, there,
somehow they’ve convinced the river
to flow slowly around them
rattle it down,
dance like a clown,
who knows when the water will crest
Old Firehouse Park, grassy ground,
tree roots just touching the side currents,
smack dab hallelujah in the middle of downtown
Janesville, glory of the old firehouse painted
on a nearby wall. We huddle
in the shade, careful to keep the workers
in sight, wait for a few stragglers to join us.
Then we begin to sing,
“join us, join us
may the river always join us
don’t risk The Rock
don’t risk The Rock”
As if we could hinder the mud’s
setting up, hardening,
soften this merciless bridge building,
hold back the machines, if only for a day,
these semi’s born of Budweiser,
this crane head spiking the sky red.
flood stage, 15.5
may it ripple,
rage our feet home
Next an Ojibway holy man
leads our wave line in chanting
and dance. Current stronger now,
drum, drum, a commanding pressure.
Four times we circle a small rise
small rise, small rise
open your eyes
Spring by spring, rain over,
rain under, legs find the feel
of cresting. Then lose it, stumble,
find it again.
Too soon I begin to weaken, broken hip
three months before, bones newly
healed, flesh flabby.
Die chant, rage gone,
never quite song.
Flood stage 15.5 feet,
flow up, pray over,
river springs, put out the fire.
©2019, Lynn Shoemaker
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One thought on “Flow Gathering Springs”
“As if we could hinder the mud’s
setting up, hardening,
soften this merciless bridge building…”
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