In a River Town

My children went to school in a river town
and learned the meaning of currents and boats

they watched the ice break up in March
and float in huge chunks down to Minneapolis

their small feet made sucking sounds in Minnesota mud
they wore boots and found forked sticks on the river bank

sometimes when their liquid eyes grew large
they watched mallards weave through brown water

their teachers read them poems distilled from runoff and rain
their schoolbooks floated on the shelves like silver fish

they flowed along the gymnasium floor like tributaries
searching for the riverís body in a rush of motion and wind

sometimes they knew themselves when the choir sang
but sometimes they were lost in the language and tunes

they dipped their hands into the river again and again
ripples broke over the shore and wet their feet

they let their curiosity float downstream, over the dam
and listened, almost silent, as willows whispered of coming spring

Steve Klepetar

If you have any comments on this poem, Steve Klepetar would be pleased to hear from you.

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