Pan­ning the Nar­rows

Prairie Fire - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - GE­ORGE AMABILE

Un­der a cres­cent moon, the fish sleep in their pock­ets

of ex­cess ex­pectancy. Far be it from me to in­ter­rupt.

The stove is lit, but the ca­denza is else­where

at this hour. To­mor­row a fresh blus­ter will ar­range

it­self around the pic­nic tables. There’s a ru­mor

afoot, some­thing about how an­cient coins

pave the river bot­tom north of the Straits.

We’ve never been able to get enough di­vas in­volved

in the res­ur­rec­tion of ar­ti­facts, much less

their pub­li­ca­tion at book fairs. Af­ter a while

it will dawn on some­one to fi­nal­ize each

back­ward step be­fore pro­ceed­ing. Un­til then,

we’re stuck with tra­di­tional leaps and bound­aries.

How did we get so ad­dicted to get­ting some­where

on our own and find­ing our­selves in the open

with­out a pot or a pad­dle? Too bad, when

it could have been dif­fer­ent with a lit­tle tin­sel

and some hard lin­ers in the mix. And now

there’s barely enough sorghum left in the sink

holes on the delta to feed the sure-footed swans.

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