THE RIVER (HE) IS UNSTOPPABLE 
spring reigns, break-up pervades
and we sit, around a campfire
on the bank, watching the pre-game show, slow 
the brown river runs, undulant under
the light-filled sky, not 
a tailgate party, per se  
but close (hot dogs on sticks and beer),  
we watch with the exuberance granted
a sporting event, jumping to our feet when 
upriver an ice jam lets go (the crowds go wild; can you hear them, cheering?)  
silt rolls down cliffs, the water (with sudden speed and velocity)
surges and the river (he) 
re-shuffles himself and all the space around him
as ice sheets, big as cars amble and spin and flip 
swerving around eddies (I’d say a 50 yard gain
in a matter of seconds) the river
leads in turnovers, how fast does (he) run?
colliding with ice cakes, taking a hit 
the earth is onto a big play
Impressive 
trembling, we sway along with him, jumping
from our lawn chairs perched precariously on an
undercut of silt and root (we live dangerously) and 
then the whistle blows (a deep rumbling of ice bumping rock, boulders)
no one says a word
this guy (the river) is a true Olympian
Inexhaustible 
his rhythm and pulse, tearing clumps of soil and stone and stalk
cutting deep channels, 
“why, it’s like he’s been shot from a cannon,” he shoots
he scores, he is a cloudburst of sky-sweeping liquid, 
he is beauty in motion, he leaps and rolls and 
 within moments, he quiets 
We sit down in our chairs, sip our beers, dissolve back into the landscape
and with the eagles perched behind us (in the tall spruce), we wait 
for the next and the next 
staggering play of the day by the
man called Copper, (who moves with grace and power), the all ’round
Invincible, (sports) Illustrated  
Player of the Year
                                                   two trees, husband, dog and me
iced apple?

rock tumbler

Note: Every year in the spring, we sit on the banks of the Copper River at our cabin and watch the ice jams push through at “break-up.” Defining moments, the ice makes thunderous and shearing sounds as the river melts and ice sheets from glaciers upriver tumble down its course. 

 

0 thoughts on “Sports Fans”

  1. What an absolute delight. It started me thinking about similar events I've witnessed. Watching the sunset at Mallory Square in Key West, for example. And I have a friend who grew up in Sicily, who tells me her family used to sit out on the balcony, drink wine and watch Mr. Etna erupt.

    Even here, where seasonal changes aren't so dramatic, there are events like the flounder run, and the times when the shrimp come in from the Gulf. There's something compelling about witnesses the rhythms of natural events – or the spectacular odd occurence, for all that. You've captured it beautifully.

  2. Isn't that a fact, witnessing natural events. I've seen the sun set in Key West; it's unforgettable, and quite an event with tourists like myself. What I remember most is how varied and brilliant the colors, and how fast it descends…

  3. oh my, I didn't realize the play on words…huh. that's why I love poetry so much; so I could have said spring reigns (rains)…thanks Deborah. Your comments are always so insightful.

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Welcome to the creative playground of Image, Sculpture, Verse.  I live in a river town nestled in the Chugach Mountain Range of Southcentral Alaska.

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