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Author of this poem:

Robert Rhodes (Yao Xin)
(September 19, 2010)

Tide Map: Mississippi River

These strange tides on which we depart
gather and churn here in untellable depths:
black waters, archipelagos of smoke, undertow,
out where we seldom venture except
when propelled by the drag of sky and moon.

Rowing toward the shallows,
we are awash in reeds, stabbing
cane breaks that fracture and snag
winter's sudden blue dusk.

She turns to me, astern, knowing
I cannot see where any of this leads.
"I've known this river since I was a girl
and everything is different now."

We seem to inhabit a world
that did not exist an hour before:
where one thinks to ask
if these tides appear on any map,
what currents they follow,
their kinship to the wind.

Snow begins to fall.

Humming Bird

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