Sweet Betsy From Pike

Daniel Richman

He took me down the river
in a small canoe and I was
soothed by the beauty
there, the walls of trees
parting as we approached, then closing
as we rounded bends. A
little white-tailed rabbit like a children’s
toy bounced away. A flock of crows
exploded over croaking
jokes. A veil
of midges hung 
like a wayward thought. The whole thing
smelled like an exhalation 
of the deepest world. Then
we reached the first
subdivision, the streets named 
for Indian tribes, the kids
drifting, their palms
as if they had plucked stars
out of the void, stars
that spoke to them in the voice
of friends, stars
that offered them           
everything. But in time 
we reached the last street
and floated free again
into sexual 
at least until
the next reflection off glass 
shot at us through the pines.