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WATERBORNEby Linda Gregerson
Hear Linda Gregerson this poem (in RealAudio).
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Also by Linda Gregerson:
For the Taking (1993)
The river is largely implicit here, but part
becomes it runs from east to west beside
our acre of buckthorn and elm.
of that, which rather weighs on Steven's mind,
appears to have found its way to the basement. Water
a wall.) It spawns real toads, our little
creek, and widens to a wetland just
the road, where shelter the newborn
fawns in May. So west among the trafficked fields,
then south, then
east, to join the ample Huron on its
curve beneath a one-lane bridge. This bridge
grace but one, and that a sort of throwback
space for courteous digression:
mine, no matter how late we are, even
the county engineers were forced to take their road
off plumb. It's heartening
to think a river makes some difference.
Apart from all the difference in the world,
We found my uncle Gordon on the marsh
one day, surveying his new ditch and raining
curses on the DNR. That's Damn Near
Russia, since you ask. Apparently
and the state had had a mild dispute, his
drainage scheme offending some considered
view. His view was that the state could come
and plant the corn itself if it so loved
spring mud. The river
takes its own back, we can barely
reckon fast and slow. When Gordon was a boy
they used to load
the frozen river on a sledge here and
in August eat the heavenly reward -- sweet
of winter's work. A piece of moonlight saved
against the day, he thought. And this is where
the Muir boy
drowned. And this is where I didn't.
Look: the river lifts to its lover the sun
layers of mist as though
we hadn't irreparably fouled the planet
My neighbor's favorite spot for bass is just
below the sign that makes his fishing
you might almost say the sign is half
the point. The vapors draft their languorous ex-
a liquid page. Better than the moment is
the one it has in mind.
Linda Gregerson is the author of the forthcoming Negative Capability: Essays on Contemporary American Poetry.
All material copyright © 2000 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.