Maumee, Maumee 

Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk 

Fish leap and splash, grasses’ heads toss in the wind, the bowed-over, weighted-down willows swish and sigh, and the river itself moment by moment, now rippled now smooth with its swoop of swallows, traffic from the bridge an endless roar of sea—Maumee, Maumee. I sing it, oriole hopping from branch to branch, small leaf cutter on the edge of my page, fingers stained with the green of an oil pastel, house finch weaving its song, song sparrow cranking up in the understory. I sing the warble rush flow gritting of teeth orange truck rushing past the nothing that is here except these gnats dancing in front of my eyes. I am long gone water from the bottle, orgasmic fizz, tornado at night passing us by. I wade the water, but do not go in, so yes Payne’s Gray’s a kind of bluish black excellent for painting stormy skies, and yes, sun sparkle, flashes of dilatory bobble Flish! a fish flips up from the surface. Smooth the paint on the panel, sweetie, dive, won’t you? And don’t argue. My tone is your tone your town your tongue. Kayaks floating past and Sunday afternoons by our own Grande Jatté. Pigeons that fly up. The necessary dark.

No notes, just the way

that warbler bounced and climbed each

available twig.

Terry Bohnhorst Blackhawk’s poetry collections include Escape Artist (BkMk Press), winner of the 2002 John Ciardi Prize, and One Less River (Mayapple Press) named a Top 2019 Poetry Title by Kirkus Reviews. She received the Pablo Neruda Prize from Nimrod International, a Kresge Arts in Detroit fellowship and grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her chapbook, Maumee, Maumee, is forthcoming from Alice Greene & Co.