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MUSINGS #69 - Bodies of Water appearing in CCR 40

        BODIES OF WATER

            viewing George Went Swimming at Barnes Hole, but It Got Cold by Joan Mitchell (1957)

 

       In the painting, the dog’s splashes

– evoked in bold strokes of black

and blue, a daub of red –

 

strike me not playful,

more a frightened flailing.

 

       As when the pup slipped

off a log into Coal Creek’s

spring torrent. 

 

How I jumped in after, caught

and held him high, close to my chest.

For how long or how far

 

we were carried, I don’t know.

But the water pounded loud,

beat my legs against rocks until

 

a cottonwood, rooted on the bank,

offered its overhung branch.  

 

       After a recent flood, a black bear

started crossing the road.  A man

– his twin 12-year olds in the truck –

 

braked and swerved

into the swollen creek.

Father and Eliza live, but

 

in a torrent of red hair and spring run-off,

Sophia sank.

 

       Today, the creek is as high

as it was that morning years ago,

and I remember the spot

 

where the pup fell in is where

the creek freezes over –

where our dog before him,

 

lay on the ice to cool

his cancer-riddled body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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