A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
When you swam in the Meramec
the sky dry and the shore rust colored
and the bridge hovered like a dragonfly,
a bargeman smiled and the women
thought about fishing and the world —
this country anyway — was quiet.
It was not forbidden to float
on your back, eyes wide, mouth shut.
There was little danger of drowning and
you’d been vaccinated for cholera —
your mother had seen to that — back
when there were mothers and shores.
Copyright 2017 John S. Tieman