Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Poem: Something Lost...

By December,
the fish are gone

Under the pioneer bridge
the native platforms
hang from once burning rock
over the chaos

empty.

It is cold now
and the wind whips
mist from the falls
so hard
it slaps my face red.

I try to explain
the old ways,

Where nets and seasons
and hearts and fish
meant life, dripping
from the end of a
long pole...

but the leaves turned
and fell too long ago.

Old ways...

I show the set-up
to my boys
before they play
hide and seek

Behind the interpretive sign
and the Sani-can
standing watch
over the parking lot.

The highway is quiet,
posing no threat
to my future,
so I turn my face

Into the slashing wind
and I taste wet
drops from the river
on my lips, and I try
to remember

the taste of salmon.

I feel a tug, I see
a small, young face
wanting to go home;

it is too cold here.

Climbing back into the car,
buckling in for safety,
turning on the heat,
turning on the wipers,

clearing the mist...

none of us remember
the taste of salmon.

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