From Simon Kenton Bridge
This ain’t something not to be honest about.
You see when I came from upriver, I wasn’t
finacially propped up and I misidentified
myself as a murderer. With no more breathing
in the bent priest’s ear and the 10th precinct
patrolling for me, I never looked back.
I’ve done some good I imagine.
I pulled Frankie’s boy from the river below,
but no one knew or no one wanted to know.
Another time, i kept us from freezing by digging
a whole and lining it with white-oak bark,
used cedar needles to start a fire. We stayed
warm with only a baby’s blanket for cover.
This ain’t a made up story though people who
know me wouldn’t believe it…I’m sure it won’t
be mentioned at my funeral.
When I look down at the river, knowing where
it’s coming from and where it’s going to, it’s
awful tempting, and I still might. Trouble is all
these damn dams, locks, barges and bulge-eyed
catfish…I don’t think I’d make it to where
I want to go. If I could get down past Little
Three Mile Creek to where Owl Hollow Road
comes out I’d be alright. Losing my son was
too much and working in the map room for 27
years didn’t help. Never could make permanent
settlement…too many squiggly lines, too much
loss of altitude. Old Man Whipple knows some-
thing about it. I never told anyone else. i just
built myself a little stone cabin and put up
a sign that said: bear to right, snake to the left
I really enjoyed this. The speaker’s bredth of experience and the voice is really engaging.
I enjoyed this poem quite a bit. The telling of his life and the good he has done. I especially liked the line I’m sure it won’t be mentioned at my funeral.
What a rich piece! The rivers, the map room, the sign at the end!
Fine work throughout.
cedar needles starting fires.
squiggled hills and round-about rivers.
very nice stuff.