Thursday, April 14, 2011

Poem #14

“The River’s Secret”

A white teddy bear at the edge
of a boat ramp, the water still as glass
The sparrows are not yet singing
their morning concerto, the trees silent
in sleep—
No one knows the river’s secret

How a mother –all rage and sadness
                          blind with fear and darkness—
clasped her four children into their seats
drove away from the cramped apartment
                    littered with broken toys and unwashed dishes
away from that man

How she stopped for a brief moment—
                    perhaps a moment of light—
to let her oldest, her ten-year-old son, out
of the worn light blue minivan—
before driving on, driving away

How she kept driving
until there was no more road
no more asphalt
only water
How her foot kept the gas pedal down
even after the water
after the van began to float —an instant boat—
before sinking, before filling
with the mouth of the Hudson
                              the light melody of a children’s song
drowning out the cries of her own children
the fiery blindness driving her foot
against the gas, fierce against water

and then

the swallow of the Hudson

and then


the teddy bear remains
keeping the river’s secret
until the boy—forced to age at light speed—
finds a firehouse
and whispers into the night


[This needs a lot of work. For example, more details about the incident have surfaced after I wrote this. There's more but I've run out of time. Keep a lookout for the revisions.]

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