Riverboat, 8/4/2000
by Larry Johnson

    Come broken as you are to the river
    like your last little girl has finally gone.
    The big water may never heal you
    but it won't make you worse: Julia Belle Swain
    rides heavy in that broad muddy water
    out of LaCrosse. You can feel summer's end
    near Brownsville, Minnesota -- a long town
    dedicated only to the river.
    Locusts saw. Steam rises from backwaters.
    The blue heron wheels above a slough
    you could give a name to if you cared.
    Dead Man. Hangman. Black Sand. Last Desire Slough.
    See? What comes of this is only motion,
    distance, fog, steam, heat, waves and cries from land
    perhaps for you.  

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