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Friday, April 12, 2013

No Trespassing -- 1984

They mark the river side with "no trespassing" signs and barbed wire fenses to keep people like me from wandering to the river's edge, crawling, brawling brats with bottles and bats fresh from the Saturday barroom baseball, their eyes made dreamy by the six packs devoured after their victory on the base paths, each soul searching for something among the river stones, bent like river rats, touching the leaves of trees and the slimy stones, weaving through the pieces of concrete dumped here by the highway department when the nearby section expansion of Route 21 was complete.
Along the shore, up from the water, River Drive runs like a boundary line for wild-life, a death penalty for those foolish enough to make the crossing during the wrong time of day, though God only knows what a raccoon or Opossum might want on the civilized side, where paper mills and chemical plants spew poison into the air, each with its greedy pipes poking into the water via routes beneath the street, sucking in living water, blowing it out again dead.
Hidden by boughs of evergreen and thick vine cords, the pump house dynamo moans, something rising in pitch as the demand grows upon it, sometimes only a whisper after dark as mandated by some local ordinance with the glad sunnies swimming in their vibrating water, oblivious to the danger, carp seeking frog's eggs among the roots of reeds, as slow leaves float down from the trees in a multi colored rain.
Most days, I bend back the wire and duck under the sign, making my way down the path from the road to the water, following the trail of discarded beer bottles and abandoned dreams, searching as the drunks had searched, yet not quite knowing for what.

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