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
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,
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.