David Mucklow

One Poem

where Deer Creek dies into the Gallatin

in the middle of this closed
enormous gray the Gallatin
is the color of your home rivers.

in knowing our home rivers
you know we cannot claim them
in world or mind but
that the extent of their edges
weighs heavy on our lives.
you've haunted some of the waters
that have become my home.
I'm here in big sky because of your dismay,
because a poet you never met told me
every house you've ever loved in
has been torn down.

we've tried hard to hide our hearts away
in destroyed homes of ancestors that don’t belong to us
and like rivers they are always dying.
the pain we want most is to know that longing is eternal
and swells a silty green familiar
behind logs that steelhead love,
in foam lines just off the bank,
but most importantly
once mid-summer comes
we might feel the open sky clearing up our home waters
and know they will always freeze and thaw
and their trout will move on to deeper water.

home water haunts me the way the house
you never stepped in was full of ghosts
and flooded with poems you never knew.

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