The Rower and the Raven

debris15 June 2016

At the moment, I would rather
imagine the scene,
than be in the actual scene.

The sun deceives.
The air it shoots through,
with brilliance, is cold.
And being at the river would prove
even colder. Gold grass
will appear to warm the marsh,
yet will not. And male mallards
with their plumage will jewel
the setting. But because of
their being familiar to me
I can see them in my mind
as clearly as in reality.

The cut rower in black spandex
will knife past,
past the gold grass
set with jeweled mallards;
will cut cold through the cold
sun-deceiving air,
a knife ripping the silk
road of the river. Were I there
the frost of my breath
would whiten the air
as it tried to take on
the form of a body,
in this the tenth
morning of April, tense,
still with the indecision
of the seasons.

I will, later, walk to the river.
I will find much I have failed to note:
Refuse left behind by the retreating tide;
a miniature plastic bottle of whiskey;
a sodden pink box;
scraps of wrappers that had once coveted
gum, and chocolates. The grey tufted
tit will pipe plaintively. The chickadee
flit past. The nasal honk
of the raven will dismiss it all
with comic remark. The raven seems always
to have the last word.

Philip Kuepper
(10 April 2016)

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