The river slows to a flat shine
Here at the edge of the Republic.
Look in the shallows just before daybreak,
See the blue uncles, trampling the cattails,
Their great coats flapping like herons.
These are the ones who followed the white stones
Out of the forest back in the day
Making deals with the little creeks
Dignifying even their own feet with medals at the end of the campaign.
Now their ancient faces shine like weathered wood.
The blood struggles to move in its pattern under the skin.
And now there is trouble.
An airplane is stuck overhead in plain wind
Like a note pinned to the sky.
It buzzes like a stalled bee.
Trampling and splashing,
The blue uncles bawl in the reeds like cattle,
They don’t know where the sound is coming from.
They think there is something wrong with the ocean.