Once a River
by Mark Fleisher

Eyes close…smile
at the scenes across
the wide screen of memory

A flotilla of rubber rafts
filled with rollicking, frolicking
occupants floats down
the river right by the edge of town

An armada of kayakers, canoeists
their paddles churning through
clear waters under a summer sun

Downstream in shallows
sunburned anglers protected
by hip boots and floppy hats
cast lines yearning
to land the big one

From outcroppings
twenty feet above
teenagers emulate
Olympians though
no judges rate their
degree of difficulty

Eyes open…smile gone…
sandy islands once
submerged now visible
in the water's stillness
Drought, say experts,
we want to weep,
the faint hope our tears
will help the waters
flow once more along
the river by the edge of town


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