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. 


Kirsten Hampton is a poet and filmmaker from Alexandria, Virginia.  She was selected as the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation Creative Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts for 2012, and has published or has poems forthcoming in Beltway, Blueline, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Potomac Review, and Subtropics, among other journals.  With her husband as director, she has produced documentaries that have won a CINE Golden Eagle award and been screened at the Library of Congress along with national film festivals.  A former university Associate Dean and Vice President, she now partners in a management and media company.



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