23 January, 2008

Fox Elegy

for Jim Phillips


the curving valley
of the turgid, septic Fox
where once the mallard

water'd w/the deer
& the
dwelt before the Fox

Indian arrived
displaced by the division
of the Beaver Wars

the intervention
of the French an early glimpse
the staid strategy

of the white man, the
capitalists, to divide
then to make extinct

like the Indians
the winding river nearly
flooded completely

w/blood of small game
hunted for sport, those natives
killed for manifest

trappers' blood the bad
deal arguments gone down in
a right bloody mess.


was in a classroom
some town on the river in
the 1960s

called out by students
adopted its moniker
& became The Fox

to catch the dumpers
unawares -- all Errol Flynn.
You were not John Wayne

tho' even some cops
enamored w/the river
& yr.

tipped you off to stings
got away like those ill fish
nobody could eat

carried, dumped gallons
their own acrid sludge back to
their meeting room floors

& rode off, untouched
The community gives back
the next day's headline.


in the summertime
over lunch in Geneva
at a beer garden

on now-cleaner shores
daytrippers get drunk &
ducks in the water

in their devoted
familial processions to
follow its current

lunchers get drunker
return to boats,
spinning for

here, in yr. back yard
nary a glass raised you in
yr. back yard.

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