I escaped from the arid reunion
no uncle pressing a beer can at me
no cousin failing to place me in the hierarchy

out past the campground boundary
dry seed pods scratching my calves
find an apple tree at river’s edge and read

birds quarrel in the shade
storm into the upper branches
knock moss and duff into my book

river is fast and well accustomed
to these banks like a knife
re-sheathing after a kill

my feet have turned blue
the water is headache cold
no one seems happy in its grasp

most of the men are on the far bank
looking for things lost
while the women wade after the children

the cousin with the heavy thighs
is making a show of adjusting her bikini
she fails to interupt the metal detector

bottle caps and other scrap
they stab at the dusty hummocks
trowels gleam red earth like Roman daggers

kids climb the mud bank teeth chattering
a procession of blue-lipped mutes
to stand in the full fury of the sun

we are all turning red though not bleeding
ants on the ground are black and brown
light glints off their industry

dogs are fighting in the rosemary
jaws grasping for purchase
tossing kinked sprigs to scent the air

the book I am reading is nothing
someone else’s life that turned out perfect
despite their protestations

my wife is indoors somewhere
baring her armpits to the air conditioning
my daughter argues with the wind

I wonder if I stay here long enough
will the tree trunk grow around me
my middle aged leg become a water root

it’s just as much fantasy as the book
I will die and decay and the words I wrote
will filter as duff to the ground unnoticed

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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Savi Mani

Dear GlenDodge, a wonderful meaningful thought provoking poem…..are’nt we all decay and go that way, the world is a cruel one it never remembers those who are alive let alone those who have gone, …….let us write first for ourselves and then for those who read our poems…nothing is permanent here and so would be the fate of us and our writings……….liked your poem


Ir is impermanence which adds charm to our living on this world in flux and that makes poetry on this transience ! No superlatives is enough for this beautiful poem. Diction and imagery is excellent. Thank you,GlenDodge !