RIVERBED

by GARY MCDOWELL

 

The attraction
              a pattern
most creeks rattle past.
              Stay out of the water.
Look see who it is
              to tell us about weather

because we
              herring mackeral,
odd fish,
              look it over.
Instead of being
              fishermen we could

section off the inlet,
              comb fresh beaches,
recall a line.
              This low-tide walk
and rocks and stones
              granite and slate

red as brick
              round as cannonballs
them and big hunks
              sometimes like adze.
The one time
              even a worked rock

meant culture
              itself casts everything,
washes away
              back to it’s deep.
It looks in fact
              as high as my

head is turned,
              never seen anything.
Rocks surely have fallen
              a little farther on.
Black rocks and crossings
              some variety

snails on the beach,
              there are not enough
tracks over time.
              Varying shade
just as I’m thinking,
              lying on my back.