The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Thursday and Croydon Creek


Our Side of the Creek
By Yusef Komunyakaa

We piled planks, sheets of tin,
& sandbags across the creek
till the bright water rose
& splayed both sides,

swelling into our hoorah.
Our hard work brought July
thrashers & fat June bugs
in decades of dead leaves.

Water moccasins hid in holes
at the brim of the clay bank
as the creek eased up pelvic
bones, hips, navel, & chest,

to eye level. When the boys
dove into our swim hole
we pumped our balled fists
to fire up their rebel yells.

The Jim Crow birds sang
of persimmon & mayhaw
after a 12-gauge shotgun
sounded in the deep woods.

If we ruled the day an hour
the boys would call girl cousins
& sisters, & they came running
half-naked into a white splash,

but we could outrun the sunset
through sage & rabbit tobacco,
born to hide each other’s alibis
beneath the drowned sky.

--------

I spent most of Wednesday working on holiday cards, with a long break for lunch to talk to my high school friends on Google Meet. The younger sister (Rochelle Walensky) of someone we graduated with (Susan Bersoff-Matcha) was just named head of Biden's CDC, so we were being excited for her and remembering that in eighth grade French class, we performed an abbreviated "Who Shot J.R.?" skit from Dallas in which Susan played J.R., I played Sue Ellen, Hildy played Kristin, and Linda played Bobby. It was also a beautiful day to walk.

We watched the holiday singalong episode of The Masked Singer, which was lots of fun -- the bouncing singalong pointer changed shape to reflect the costumes of the singers -- then since I was feeling nostalgic about Chuck Yeager, we figured we'd give The Right Stuff miniseries another try, but the women are still so atrociously written that it's hard for me to watch; will see if I even finish. Here is some of the Heritage Trail at Croydon Creek Nature Center, including the ruins of a farmhouse and what's left of a dam on the creek:

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2020-12-06 14.33.38

2020-12-06 14.15.25

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