Tuesday, January 19, 2016

pend oreille river

idaho / washington

near july fourth
the river flow still
had a mind to rush
even as the dam choked it
& the mosquitoes gathered
'til sunset
hanging on the tent mesh
like a refuge
not discouraged
by the campfires above us
deep green forest moisture
creeping back into the river basin
the ranger clued us earlier
that this very spot
didn't get a lot of
the local kids stomping
across the wooden bridge
told us as much

we weren't sure
whether we slept
on the idaho or washington
side of the 'border'
to where the original people
lived     spoke     sang
fished     hunted
dreamed     loved     created         
cut wood     hollowed out canoes
sewed clothing     taught children
connected generations
buried ancestors     wept
danced     made community

--- e b bortz

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