Over The Susquehanna River
From New York it winds
nine hundred mudlarkable shoreline miles
through the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic.
Unlike Billy Collins, I fished it,
caught carp, sucker, catfish, perch; swam
polluted waters; climbed and walked
bridges and trestles. I grubbed its mud.
Remember disasters. Before mountains rose.
The Susquehanna is in my blood.
Look both ways when the river flows.
Here it comes, there it goes.
Mind the gaps, the pits, the whirlpools, and vermin.
Poetic license: The Susquehanna River is 444 miles long from New York, flowing through the State of Pennsylvania (where I knew it) into the Chesapeake Bay. That’s 888 miles of shoreline. I rounded up. Disasters include the Knox Mine crime, Three Mile Island, pollution and environmental catastrophe on an epic scale, and many devastating floods.