Poem excerpt from Chattahoochee Song #2 by randomstoryteller chamrick writer with image of Canadian goose on log

Chattahoochee Song #2


Poem excerpt Chattahoochee Song #2 by randomstoryteller chamrickwriter

Daylight broadens on cement stepping off Powers Island;

A marked man, with name and phone number Sharpie-scrawled

On his orange life vest, launches a creaky rowboat

Peeling barn red into the downstream pull swelling

Deep summer green after rain-soaked afternoons steamed

The concrete-steel half of this mixed-use community—

Its rooms shelved like rabbit warrens, sheltering

Nameless neighbors who nod at the recycling center

And then steal away to blue-light bar sitting,

Thumb sliding and punching in emotion-conned silence:

Hearts afire for the mint-laced cucumber mojito

Sugar-muddling the night that never goes dark—

Oh, to daylight-disappear, to solstice-bask my bones,

To laze-drift under the burning I-285 bridge

Where rush hour stacks up in the idling afternoon

Broken by 18-wheelers lurching forward groan by groan.

I dabble riverside by the root-ripped, lichen-trimmed log

Heard by Canadian geese on its bank-hollowing fall;

The sun’s blue waves dapple-slap tiny water eddies,

And brown-gray plumage runs in short currents

On the plump breast, wings, and back of a moment-still gander

That suddenly hooks his beak in a ripple, stabbing and nibbling,

Stabbing and nibbling, his proud neck arching and turning,

Then shooting up straight—mate alert—his sharp white cheek patches,

Like arrows, paint his black head and crown; I draw a quick breath,

Rocked by this common grace, by the traffic of a small flock,

Heads erect, paddling sideways, streaming with the southward tug—

Honking, endlessly honking, and I hum, out of tune,

A river song impossible to play by ear.


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