Poem: The Oxbow | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Poem: The Oxbow

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It is a misconception of Man
(in every sense of the word man)
that rivers run straight to the sea;

Rivers run crooked and mostly free
They may arrive at the ocean eventually.
Meanwhile they rush over mountain rocks...

Rivers cruise a floodplain like a shopper
At the library or grocery store:
They peruse.

My local bird preserve
is a fortress with a moat
carved by a river on a cruise;



The river bent east then west
It pinched the land like a drop of clay;
It rejoined (and then abandoned) itself.

The river disobeyed the straight lines of man
Which slice the bends of the oxbow
Like the line through a dollar sign.

One looking for dollars may like the lines.
Slicing and dicing the land like a knife.
But where will offense lead us?

The locals know the path of the oxbow:
The humans, the hazel, the harrier,
They don’t obey; they just go.

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