Allegheny River

Your people are gone
but still you spill downhill
welcoming all comers—
pleasure boaters, bikers, hikers,
rain, wind, hail, snow,
midge, snail, mosquito, otter,
bridge pillars planted uprightly,
fish outfitted in scale-skinned suits,
eye of newt and toe of frog,
twig and leaf and muck below.
Your people are gone from you,
leaving your name
to newcomers,
but still you fill your girth
gracefully, weaving your way,
and if ever you grieve,
the wild ducks will come,
feet spread wide as they touch down
spraying their greeting.

back to issue