to Jeremy

On the morning

You get up before you are ready

Lids sandpapering eyeballs

Mouth bitter with dryness

To let the dogs out

You’re awake

By the time you make it back to bed

Inexplicably weepy

No need for eyedrops before

Starting your hour of morning reading

Switching between Foreign Affairs

And Searching for Sunday

You can’t ignore the soundtrack

Of other generations

Haunting your eardrums

“Dream a Little Dream of Me…”

Ella Fitzgerald croons

“It’s just this time of year.”

You whisper to no one in particular

Your mother’s mother

DeeDee, long gone,

Settles in the easy chair by the bed

Legs crossing at the ankle

Gently nods in agreement

Her mother Mimi perches

On the dresser with a plate of Spritz cookies

That your father, younger than you ever knew him

Poaches to dunk in

His steaming mug of coffee

Harold and Virginia

Together again

Cut a rug

Without the pain of shrapnel or arthritis

By the bedroom door

Transitioning fluidly

To the next song on the

Ghostly wireless

“Beautiful People”

By Ed Sheeran

Papa Earl looks on, smiling

It’s only when your terrier

Bounds into the room

Barking vociferously

At Virginia’s swirling skirt

That the time stream

Tugs you out of the spiraling eddy

By the muddy bank

That is all time and no time both

Washing you away from your ancestors’

Holiday greeting

And pushes you onward,

To whatever awaits you downstream


Before dawn
The bats take sips of me
Between eating mosquitoes
Morning sun makes jewels of my surface
Ever changing flowing onward
Sleepy birds take their turns:
Drinking, bathing, hunting
Rainbow trout just swallowing a dragonfly
Flying away in the talons of Golden Eagle
Nesting in the tallest oak
Above the feral apple trees
On my marshy bend
Across from the cemetery
Right before I glide under the RR trestle
Just now echoing the clatter
Of the 5:12am Cargo Train
Heading inland from Portsmouth
Tumbling, splashing, gurgling
Turning the millwheel still
I could power the lights and bright screens
Of the computers in the hipster apartments
I roll past
If only people would raise their gaze
From their shiny toys
And see
I keep flowing
My muddy banks bordering backyards, cow pastures,
Whose needles and leaves give me my brown color
Their roots both drinking and holding me
Onward, onward
To great bay
Where I kiss the salt of brackish waters
And taste the promise of the Atlantic
The deep wild water
The returning Salmon used to sing
To me its song
Swimming doggedly
Against my current
To where they could taste the mud of their birth,
The memory of their ancestors
Planted the seeds of their hope
Before the wind pushed so many sailing ships
Across the churning froth of sea