Monday, July 25, 2016

A poem


A poem I wrote that was partly inspired by a visit to Nelson’s Landing: 

            Nelson’s Landing

Volcanic rock claws
at my feet.
I’m frozen.
Behind me on the bank
a blanket.
On top of it our clothes,
a bottle of wine.
The sky burgundy.
Five fathoms below,
the Colorado River
creeps toward oblivion.

The Spanish found gold here.
Eldorado.
A Civil War deserter
beaten to death
with a shovel
for a yellow stone.
The veins dried up
during WWII.

Nelson, Nevada.
Population 24.

A flood flashed
through the canyon,
carrying them away.
A rusted water tank
and bandaged mines
remain.

Reaching the bend in the river
John Wesley Powell said,
“We are ready to start into
the Great Unknown.”

Atop the cliff
everything comes clear.
The beginning of this relationship
betrays how the last ended.
I can’t see her,
but hear her treading water.
“You scared, old man?”
she says.
I smile,
close my eyes.

And jump.

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