Rowing Through the Poem of Morning

Meadow8 March 2016

How like a million slender oars
the leaves of grass blowing
in the meadow, leaves of grass
set to blowing by Walt’s breath,
breath whispering, whispering
through the grass to the river’s edge,

slender green oars silkening
the river’s edge mallards jewel
with passage. Marsh sparrows sing.
The river slaps against itself
as light enfolds it,
river and light braiding

each leaf of grass
in a miniature double helix
of natural wonder.  Wander
in flight over the jeweled leaves,
gulls, with clams on their minds.
For them it is always snack-time.

For the clams?  Evasive action,
which they execute to perfection
in the river bottom, sand
the ideal camouflage.  The leaves of grass
wave to, wave fro,
a delicate breeze mussing them,

like the silken hair on a boy’s head,
fingers of breeze combing
gently through the leaves,
leaves bending toward rowers
who flow into view,
paralleling the jeweled
mallards in passage.

A concert of motion has begun,
the slender leaves of grass
blowing to and fro;
the oars of the rowers,
to and fro;
mallards and gulls; sparrows,
a concert conducted by the breeze.

Across the meadow at the river’s edge
comes Walt whispering, whispering,
America, on the breeze.
Beyond the meadow lilacs rustle spring.
And the ship of morning is captained
by a rising sun, out,
out toward the ocean.

Philip Kuepper
(18 February 2016)

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