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High Water at Chain Bridge--Kayaker

River engorged with caramel mud sweeps
beneath the bridge (and over its shadow),
mounding up, looking close enough to touch,
pouring down from the edge of the sky
with unaccustomed vehemence, fullness,
and articulation,

as hypnotic as an orator on a roll,
holding eye and ear with fresh, bold images,
at once solid and vanishing, emphatic
and flowing. It is too much to contain,
a cornucopia pouring out endlessly
through eyes and ears as empty of intention
as summer clouds--

so that it jolts one to see a tiny kayaker
who plans to do something
with this river; his kayak, bright red blip
in a sodden wilderness of mud
and soft greens, less incongruous
than his intention to bridle
the power that grips us so.

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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