River

The schooner slips from Portsmouth and the river
widens, a snake that opens sluggish jaws
to swallow the sea, and everything slides
past bricks, the pared spire of the church,
wharves, chimneys, terraced plots of green,
that thin woman who bends to her basket and pegs
scraps of clothing on a line, that clump of elms,
a hearse meandering on its way, the boy
with the brown cap fishing from a pier, the silver
body of his catch twitching an arc that swings
from him as everything moves past without word
or protest and the ship glides unperturbed
into a world where nothing is left but water,
air, and the uncertain space between.


from BECOMING BONE (University of Arkansas Press, 2005)

 

 

 

Poems by Annie Boutelle

River

Bens

One Way to Varanasi

Basket of Fruit