The Dead Barge, Audubon Batture

by Larry Chamberlin   Jul 17, 2018

It lies beached and eroded
steel decking sags in exhaustion
where it hasn’t already rusted through;
the Mississippi tears at it
in furious patience
ripping particles at an annual rate
depreciating strength.

River willows gather sand and silt
in cargo pockets exposed
to the sun and rain
grounding it and slowly
burying the hold.

Used up by commerce
it hulks now
as sacrifice to the stream
placed here as man-made
contribution to the levee
while the river
restores its elements to the sea.

LMC May 1988


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Latest Comments

  • 9 months ago

    by Ben Pickard

    Digging into the archives here I see, Larry, and a good job you did. This is a wonderful example of descriptive poetry which has an almost melodic and soothing feel to it, in direct contrast to what is actually happening, I should say. Reading it feels as if you were gently rocking side to side on a boat perhaps...
    Lovely work.