The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Kirsten Hampton



Chesapeake Bay tributaries:  the Potomac,

Rappahannock, James and York, Virginia’s parallel rivers


I thought I knew

what the river said

running from mountains to bay—

but like the oysterman

who tends his seaside garden,

I am learning how one thing

beholds another, rivers like a timeline,

fish line leading blooms across

the arc of the arbor:

canoeing tribesmen on the Thames

Confederates joined with Union men            

spat that feeds the flatworms and mud crabs



so red horse and spot tail shiner swim,

fishermen who race boats in morning

cast for low tide bass.

When their churn calms, canoes come again. 


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