Sunrise on the Ohio River
by Jim McGarrah
November 23, 2009
— for Jack Myers, teacher and friend
In front of me silt and driftwood
clip along driven by the current past buoys
listing in the breeze. Jets grumble overhead.
Veteran’s Bridge flexes its girders,
a muscular moaning with the weight of life
as cars and trucks inch their drivers toward work.
Death rises from the water as a mourning fog,
shaping shadows of a city along the water’s edge.
Huge husks of empty brick and glass begin
to penetrate the gloom and above it
enter a blue womb of sky. Topaz –crowned mallards
rock across waves, davening as if this river
were a temple. Belle of Louisville, revenant of a more
poetic time, steams around the cutbank and disappears,
her captain left as memory in the wake of history.