It was a sad and ancient riverand it had a deep, murky golden brownthat leapt out of the bright and lush green that hugged its banks.The oxbows dove and weaved around itand one stoppedanother stopped for a time And then split the river in two.This oxbow had broken off from the ancient riverand then the river pushed back on its old banks,Heaving and spilling out Into a crevasse.The torrents gushed through the oxbowand pushed onward through itto meet the river’s course once again at the next bend.The river was ancient and inviolableAnd dove and weaved and folded in on itself for two million years.In that river lay the snows of Canada. . .The Eagle Mound of Poverty PointThe waves that lap its nearest banksecho the remnant song of the hollow chanting of bone flutes. . .The silts and clays and corn kernels of Cahokia. . .Chitamacha pirogues, swimming for news of trade and the hunt. . .The ghost of Abraham Lincoln’s flatboatdriftwood whirlpools now achingfor the memory of its brief and gliding caress. . .Always flowing, always reminding one of timelesscomfort in riverscomfort all flowing:Into a city where sanctity and sacrilegemeet entangled in a plastic baby humid muckat the threshold of a drainage gateunder the supervision of the New Orleans Sewerage and Water BoardA warm pollen disquiet reigns there near the Delta.I place a whale bone under the doormat of Lucky’sand whisper “I will come back for this, later”only to be answered by the long song of creek frogsenveloping the empty streetswhere my attorney waits for me with a man in Alligator skin boots. . . .