by billgncs

The river runs past the boy forever
each day the same and each moment different
brown and lazy on the surface
such hidden turbulence
oh so cold if you dare the depths

A hidden place, ancient train trestle bridge
long ago replaced wrought iron trusses
snapped and submitting to the weight
plunged so many to their deaths.
Leaving coins amidst the polished stones along the shore.

Do they dance here alone at night?
always the past, without hope or future
ghostly in pale moonlight
at this lonely lonely spot
where only carp recall their names

Barefoot in the shallows tin can ready
lifting rock and scuttling backwards captured
crayfish tin prison and joyous boy
swimming backwards never looking
he just had to find your rock

fossils in the shale from forever long ago
and small bare toes mark the clay along the shore
they meander like the river up and down
forever and a day from now will they find the traces
of solitary boy with tin can treasures

A young boy would walk the mile or two into the ravine and woods behind his house and seem to be the only person in the world.

The bridge that spanned the river marked the site of the Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster of 1876.


10 Responses to “river”

  1. That was amazing! There are so many beautiful, haunting phrases. This is one that stays with you, and needs re-reading to catch all the nuances. Great job (and now I want to know more about this historic tragedy). Thank you for sharing it with us!

  2. So the rivers flow. I enjoyed your poem.

  3. I loved it…. I feel connected to the boy, growing up as an only child in my grandmothers care. We lived in the Blue Ridge mountains, in a ‘holler’, if you will, so there were no neighbors. I had my animals, nature, and my happy creek I would play in, gathering the most beautiful rocks and fossils….wish I still had the collection…as you can see, the poem resonated with me, bringing back memories I treasure….thank you for the lovely reminiscing….

    • there is something about water and a stream that captures my imagination, I see it is the same for you.

      May your memories stay always clear and close to your heart.

      thanks for stopping by – bw

  4. Dear Billgncs,

    Your poem was an eye opener and a sad song sung for the boys of the past. Time, like an ever flowing river, bears all its sons home. A very good submission this week.




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