Weekend Poetry Share: The Canoer

Sunday has looped back and so I post a new poem. I found this poem when I was living on a basalt bench above the Crooked River in Central Oregon. The river was at the center of my life as I skirted the canyon edge with the golden eagles and bighorn sheep on my walks every day, and I continue to be intrigued and impressed with the Great Basin area. I hope you enjoy this poem, and that you have a great week ahead.

The Canoer

by Diane Wakoski

the hush of
the river
at 4 a.m.,
fish flipper their bellies across moss,
trees walk down to the very shoreline
thinking nobody is watching them,
his paddle darts in and out of
the water, getting better acquainted
each time with its own slippery
hands boggle out of the river
offering foam money in the corner of his eye.

In my own mind
I change the texture of the river,
super-imposing on it
a buffalo, bleeding in the hindquarters,
not raging but calm and taking
the waters. The river dries up
around him, and the skeleton of the buffalo
walks down the dried-out bed of an old river.

Photo credit: Jessica Beauchemin at Outdoor Project

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