From the Flume
The banks of the West Ausable River
Is a place you’ve never been.
Staring straight down into the flume
Violent bursts of water over
Great granite boulders mesmerizes
The boys, but I pull them back
To trek a well worn path through
Tall timothy, navigating our poles
Around brush and beaver dams,
Following the sound of gurgling river water
Till finally, finding still waters, they cast.
In mid-afternoon sun I’ve stared for an hour
At the lone cormorant perched twenty feet from shore
On the remains of a tree grounded into beach sand
After the latest storm.
One to two foot waves and a brisk breeze rock
The water-logged limbs, but she persists on the sun perch.
I often wonder how my mother withstood the nearly
Century long gale, through depression, world war, violence,
Illness and deeper loss.
Here along the Verona shore,
The cormorant clings to the tree’s trunk.
The wind’s velocity blows her feathers back from her body,
But the bird remains, riding with the ebb and flow,
Teaching those who will watch, an ancient lesson.
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