River Poem

twisting rivers
the Delaware
the Schuylkill
forming the moist muddy crotch
of a brown gowned siren
this icy-water triangle
swallows its people
spewing crushed-powder teeth and bone
from concrete smokestacks’ phallic girth
under the northern bridge’s rusted rivets
forgotten, in soggy towns, nestled ‘tween
plump, and flustered
bluster-cheeked women
flesh rustling, restless
‘neath pilled pink fleece
bobble along broken-bottle gravel trails
huffing December steam
saffron glare blinds ice topped streams
another fish-nibbled young memory
washed up
escaping frothy wave murky obscurity
a blue-denim boy, drowned
the news hounds
on the television
and in inky finger print
baring hungry ivory teeth
until another story came along

we stood beside walls
of barren glass
reflecting us
outside the riverfront building
where daily, we endeavored
huddled against winter’s
vengeful fervor
she shivered
pointing toward the river
its frozen mud and stone shores

“There used to be some trees there, to block the wind.”

and then she walked into the building
while I stayed a few moments more
watching the ice flows
slowly flowing
how, without the toiled howling
how, without the cold wind
how would we know–
we hadn’t already

Published by


I've come to write.

2 thoughts on “River Poem”

  1. Ok, this is just fascinating; crude and graceful, eloquent and harsh. Love the juxtaposition, and the almost whispered conclusion. Even without the lure of the story, this poem is literary brilliance…

    Nicely done, Eric!

  2. Thank you again, Lisa 😉 This was a true story, but not in story form. The building was a newspaper building where I used to work. It was right on the river. As an aside, I got fired from that job. First time ever. Maybe I’d been too busy writing poems, or maybe just unlucky. Long story. I hope your evening is lovely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *