Near the Bend

Gina Ferrara

Bruce, with his hard boxed Winstons,

and barely bound strip worn matchbooks,

his voice the burning marsh,

smoldering leaf for leaf,

sycamores and palmettos

a russet blanket of cypress.

He called himself a river rat,

loved the bend, and took me there,

beyond the big tree, we brought beer

an octet of stodgy Miller Ponies

with grooved, twist off caps

gold glinting with embellishments.

We watched steamships, supertankers,

barges going upriver and gulf bound, one from Tunisia,

the rounded lozenge like disk

a crescent and a star on the red flag,

dissipating letters bearing a name

the barrels holding dredged and distilled histories,

gliding, without segue or pause.

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Gina Ferrara lives in New Orleans. Her work has appeared in numerous journals including The Briar Cliff Review, The Poetry Ireland Review, and Callaloo. She has three full length collections, Ethereal Avalanche (Trembling Pillow Press), Amber Porch Light (CW Books) and Fitting the Sixth Finger (Aldrich Press).

Abby Michelini