CMW (May 3,1946 / Manhattan, Kansas)

Mississippi Moments

History journeys along with its meandering flow as
a wide birth from bank to bank has eyes straining
trying to see across to the other side, far too wide.
Muddy rivulets stirred up by the river boats drift by
and my dreams become intertwined with what
I have read and the sleepy house boats floating near
the banks that the river dwellers call home.

A huge stainless steel arch with its catenary curve
looms gracefully nearby as a gateway of welcome,
built as a monument to Thomas Jefferson and the
pioneers who braved making their way to St. Louis,
why it is fondly called "the Gateway to the West."
I felt as if the Arch was paying homage to the mighty
Mississippi with its tall shadow falling on her erratic waters.

Children were waving from the banks at contented tourists
waving back as they drifted slowly by and time stood still
with the music of the river taverns mingling with the
contrasting sounds of riverboat whistles, and I drifted along
with them sensing serene pleasure into another time and place.

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