What happens after you give all to cross that river
and things do not turn out as planned
and now you are on the other side,
yearning for loved ones you left behind?
The mud on either side of the banks
full of hoof prints
and road apples,
full of white clay.
I have built a bed of flotsam
floating on a dream.
Huck once found a sinking houseboat
with a dead man inside, naked,
shot in the back.
Jim said “Doan look at his face,
his face too ghastly.”
Huck stared instead at two calico dresses,
a sun bonnet,
a boy’s old speckled straw hat,
a broken glass bottle with a baby stopper
still holding some milk.
Huck read some profanity,
saw rude pictures drawn on the walls
with charcoal. He stole a knife,
buttons, needles and thread, fishhooks,
tallow candles, a horseshoe-
I guess for luck.
Jim found a broken violin.
Some ghastly memories of fathers
and sons are best left drowned
in that wide mile.