Lock and Dam 13

In honor of my grandfather, Leonard J Collins, d. November 30, 2008

How vague those summer days seem:

Blazing Mississippi river,
glazed with oil, sleeping,
restless snake in midday sun

My grandfather shouted greetings
to the rough-throated barge men
waiting their turn as the dams
slowly slaked their thirst

I chased snapping turtles
to their muddy emergency exits,
sliding under scum-slippery surf

Wishing I, too, could dive into
that brackish meadow, keeper
of such expansive secrets,
and unearth each one.

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