This poem, “Sternwheeler,” opens my new book, Memories of When We Were Birds (for sale here). The poem was published in June 2009 at a wonderful on-line journal of “the poetry of the everyday,” called voxpoetica. Voxpoetica‘s founder, the amazing Annmarie Lockhart, liked the poem so much she suggested I write a book and call it Dark Hills of Just Lived Moments. Which I did, eventually, with her encouragement. And so, in many ways, this poem, and the book now called Memories…, will forever be linked in my mind with Annmarie, who helped me and so many other poets find their voices.
So you mostly walk the deck
and watch the shoreline slip away,
your world shrinking down to the girl,
the boat and the enveloping dark.
You hang out over the stern railing
above the paddlewheel that mows
through muddy green meadows of river
and churns out frothy haystacks,
dark hills of just-lived moments
receding one by one into night.
You hold hands like there’s no letting go,
like you won’t slip into the churning.