Monongahela #2

At night, Monongahela becomes a
long black barge, hauling all the
bad away. See it coming around the
dark bends with the low fires of the
bargemen burning. I sit up
in the night and listen for their songs,
I listen in the midnight which becomes a
horse softly-galloping, moon-hoofed.
River-tramp, Monongahela, see the shapes
in its waters of all the silver
harmonicas. River, such a waltzer,
spinning beneath the low
boughs of the summer-laden trees,
as if forgetting the secret name in the moon's
mouth. Joins the Ohio like steelworkers
once joined the union. What was once
the great complex of a steel plant
has grown back to meadow, you wouldn't
know it had ever been there unless
somebody told you. The old
brick buildings of many autumns are
mum, their windows boarded.
The bronze statue of Braddock looks
confused; he thought a
bus stopped here.

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