Susan Kelly-DeWitt – Salmon
They climbed together the ladder of rapids,
hurled themselves and scraped their bellies.
The dead ones floated like pickerel weed. Many
fell out of the river of time, littering the rocky
banks, drawing the rats, raccoons and badgers.
They filled like windsocks with death.
We came there. We carried our eyes
and our baggage of witnessing. We carried
our awe like a caudal fin. The willows crept
down to the river’s edge and hung their heads
like sad old men, trailing all their living
silver green leaves, their dusky olive leaves
the color of salmon skin. The beached ones dried
in the sun; they poked like stiff flags from the weeds
and the light passing over them seemed dis-
embodied, preternatural. Somewhere
in the worlds between this one and the dead
river of salmon ghosts, we heard a howling.
O Coho, O Kokanee, O Chinook.
March-April 2005 Earth First!
Date: October 30, 2012
Categories: Susan Kelly-DeWitt