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Blog: Rivers of Life

Poetry muse insists I remember the rivers of my life, even as we remain seriously preoccupied with the ways of the ocean.

 

Recently, we have been preoccupied with the sea, its winds and its powers.  So I was surprised when the Muse insisted that I consider the role of rivers in my life.

Of course, my cherished Delaware flows to the sea, and is tidal all the way to Trenton.  Also of course, but nobody realizes this- New Jersey is the only state with three coasts- The Shore, the Delaware River and the Delaware Bay. 

Growing up in Michigan, rivers were of no interest. There were the Great Lakes, and that was it for me, water-wise. 

This poem, gift of the Muse, references two Michigan rivers.  The Rouge is considered even now the most polluted waterway of my growing-up state.  The Au Sable - in the northern part of the lower peninsula- is a river I frankly don't remember. But the muse does.

Consider the importance of bodies of water in your own life.  Preserve them all.

 

And here is Riverrun

 

RIVERRUN

 

imagine hating rivers

             Rouge and Wabash

 

imagine loving one

just for its name

             Au Sable

 

being ravished by another

for its song

            Shenandoah

 

being pretty afraid of one

            the Mississippi

when you were on her

in a steamboat

needing no locks

because of the height

and the speed of that

flood

 

being denied two

            the Colorado and the Green

because someone had to stay

with your mad mother

while the rest of the family

whitewater-rafted

 

cherishing one

            the Hudson

for its history and its art

 

serving one

            the Delaware

with your life

 

                                                            CAROLYN FOOTE EDELMANN

                                                            November 13 2012

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