Eel River Meditation by Ann Michael

Eel River Meditation


Above the Eel River,
a concrete bridge: every summer
we plied humid afternoons
with hickory bark canoes.

Lying on the sloped bank
we paddled between
walnuts and hickories—
we were on the brink

of believing. The Eel
was clay-colored in July, and
familiar as salt,
solid as a Pontiac sedan

although some nights,
when the frost-glass lamps
were lit and warm air was damp
it seemed we might

find the bridge led
lightning bugs across water to
a stream of galaxies, sets
of blurred moons.

While the crickets sang
their growing-the-corn-tall ballads,
some nights an aching rang,
liquid wrung from solids

and we, unsure of what to trust,
imagination or the tactile facts,
both embraced and pushed back.
Chose differently. Two of us.

Ann Michael
Long established as a poet and essayist in print journals, Ann E. Michael migrated to online literary sites during the 1990s and has been maintaining a blog on poetry, books, nature, and philosophy since 2011 at She lives in eastern Pennsylvania, where she is coordinator of the writing center at DeSales University. Her books include Water-Rites, The Capable Heart, and Small Things Rise & Go.
Follow her blog at

Featured image: Untitled by Terry Priest. CC license.

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