Copyright © 2002 Bob Dornberg
It scarcely seems Delphic:
this tawdry river bank, the slow mud
held back by riprap. Broken concrete
encloses trilobites, dead shapes of leaves.
The river moves beer cans and styrofoam.
Ice long since departed: glacial weight only
implied by blue Ohio sky heavy above me.
Fossils, arrowheads, words: equal mystery.
Why is Erie the laziest of lakes?
Sleeping, sludging though Niagra plunges
dark Ohio mud; the height, the fall
the roar of it; the bright tumult: air.
I scramble through willow, river-muck
to touch some small legless mute, some stone,
as though fossil ferns were runes.
And what of Orpheus? The Maenadsí toy
broken limb from limb: wavefoam, flotsam,
fishfood; the slap of water over rocks.
Copyright © 2002
Sharon Kourous teaches high school English. Her work has been published in print and on the internet, and has won various awards.