The Muddy Muddy Eel
by Ann E. Michael

What’s in that Midwestern river but miles of fallen leaves,
twigs, boughs, centuries of oak-silt and cow dung
silage and corn silk, sorghum, motor oil and weed-killer

bottlecaps     cattail seedheads     skunk cabbage     muck
gravel and cement blocks sunk deep and slick now
with water-clot, muskrat scat, decayed matter. Bones.

Stewart’s grass clippings have been long subsumed in that water.
Edna’s view of the bridge is there, but the bridge is new.
If there are eels still, then, in the brown flow: eels.

On flat summer days, reflections. Dreams the locals built up,
accreting into the usual prosperity or losses. Winters of snow.
Between those banks scum and renewal–sinking, moving.

You’ve come to sift into the flux your mother’s gritty
gray ashes, she who said she knew where she belonged–
in the slow shallow serpentine winding, she settles in.

First published in The Cider Press Review


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]