Dr Paul's Poetry Pages
Going over Niagara (For my Father).
Going over and looking down
There is no snow and this could be Kansas
With her fields just greening lightly
As winter ends and falls as sudden ice.
Going over Niagara and there the Finger Lakes reach
Splay pawed from the great lake,
Marshes at their south ends waiting
Silently for their red wings.
These lakes deep but shallowing imprints
Of ten thousand year retreat of the ice,
The last days of big mammals pierced with flint
Sinews harvested and fats rendered.
Going over Niagara comes to mind
Riding with Sylvia to the hospital
To see you again and I say to her
That all three of us have each in our own way
Your independence as you pushed and folded
Our landscapes, filled our lakes with water
Cold, clear to drain into beaver filled valleys
And sleeping butter cupped marshes.
This comes to mind as you look at Sylvia,
Point to ne and whisper to her:
Who is this, is this Chris (A female cousin)?
And the world spins around this confusion.
Our eyes stray to the monitor:
Heart rate 83, blood pressure 110/65.
The Doctors did warn us of possible brain damage.
Niagara comes to mind again,
Talking with my sister and reassuring each other:
He's had a rough day. Just off the ventilator.
Confused by the Medications.
But there is that thought of he never knew me well anyway.
Or maybe he has gone right to the point
Of my own arrogance that I could see all myself
Like a model landscape seen from a model plane.
And the marshes at the end of the lakes come to mind,
That plane crashed and I see my own landscape
So alien and opening up,
Its rivers meandering at the behest for beavers
Focusing alien sight on their dams here and now.
So how could you know who I am in my own landscape
Filling of red wings and their late winter songs?
I look out and the last snow has started gently to fall-
Your snow on my marshes.