6-22-91 Upstream, Downstream


The sun bounces off the Danube
Magnesium burning bright
I cannot look but I can feel
The warmth of a new day
History of a people this time I know not
Makes my own seem small,unromantic
Each day I slip forward.

A full double barge fights upstream
In the swirls aft I feel
Spun from seeing my destination
Murky water does not seem to give way
For one who goes against the flow
Sterile white tourist boats gangwayed below
Travel without resistance
Barely moving this sainted water
The happy faces look nothing like
The men of cargo and purpose;perhaps…

That is what I see
I see not the pain of the visitors
I see no joy in those who work
I see what suits my fickle mood
When it is to be us and them
I write to right these things in me
Perspective:”What floor please?”
And still this day is beautiful
In this place that makes me feel young beyond mention.

If I see a barge power down
And just float a while
Or a cruise ship carry a burden
Larger than a wedding party
I will smile knowing I am not alone
That rivers have no choice

And that men do if only for a moment;
When I cannot feel but I can look
I will remember this time
The scales may shift
It may well be enough.