>Black River Boys

Black River Boys (2006)

D.J. Heatherly Hall

Prepare, pack, plan, provide

Sun, hugs, mud, bugs

Filthy fingers. Happy feelings

Finding tree stars and tree nuts

Four-wheeling to a fishing spot

Our little bit of paradise

Where the River runs shallow and secluded.

Floating in clear coolness with eyes full of brightness

Dylan’s curiosity along with Devin’s sweet smiles.

Brings contentment to the family.

 

Small voice questioning all around us

What are those lines?

As Dylan points to the ripples in the water

Bordering us silently, moving as we slowly glide.

What is that sound?

Listening to concealed birds screech over head.

What are those things?

Looking intently at the polished pebbles under foot.

Tiny fishes scatter in all directions

Yet, the plastic red one is continually caught

Proudly on the end of Dylan’s reel.

 

Canoeist’s float towards us

Small talk begins. They comment

about our boys in the River.

Devin coyly smiles at them

Dylan shyly looks away, grinning.

Canoeist’s drift lazily past us

And Dylan quietly says to me,“I did not talk”.

 

Heather and Bobby take a walk, take a break

Alone together to float downstream.

Dylan tells me, “I can’t see.”

“See what?” I ask.

“My best friends” he says in his small voice.

He misses his mom and dad.

They are his world.

Minutes later he sees them floating towards us

he points at them excitedly with his whole self smiling.

 

Back at our camp site quick showers

Washing away sunscreen and sweat

Primed for evenings’ bug spray and smoke

Blued-eyed dimpled Devin bounces happily in his walker

As we work our magic on the grill.

 

Snuggled in their tent, our boys doze off before dark.

Time for adults. Starry nights and wine lead to talk

About life, the future, and The Universe.

 

Rise and shine to a dewy day.

Dylan chases his early morning shadows.

While running from hand monsters.

“It’s getting me, it’s getting me.”

Giggling all the while.

 

Early a.m. energy and excitement.

Stooping, exploring, digging, collecting

Acorns, rocks, leaves, memories.

Arms wide with joy, high stepping and spinning.

“Whats happening to me?” Dylan laughs.

His feet, in constant motion.

 

Coffee savored over warmth of the fire.

Simple moments make the grandest of occasions.

Dylan’s sweet comments and Devin’s carefree smiles.

Our Black River Boys.

 

 

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39 North

Atikokan bound

I hear silence inside a

Kaleidoscope of pines.

Abundant giants tower over

Scrappy saplings with gangly, leggy limbs

Amidst palomino pony trunks of birch.

Proudly, they proclaim space as I pass

Through unruly rough hewn timber.

 

Reflective Pond

>Reflective Pond
D.J. Hall (August 2007)

Search for hidden pond
With an eager anticipation
For a successful expedition

Opportunity for abundant fishing
For answers, blue gill, our emotions unraveled.
Propels us through a path less traveled
Traipsing mile after mile in summer’s humidity
Past endless rows of sunny simplicity.

Yellow faces watch in silence as we feel
Relentless dampness seep from pores at
Neck, cleavage, face and arms, as the
weight of the chaos I have created
continually trickles through my thoughts.
Much like the unremitting, infuriating mosquitoes.
Threatening to drive me crazy.

Onward, our heavy feet trudge, through a
Midwestern field full of tall grass and ticks
Accompanied by droning honeybees and
Annoyance of horseflies, heat and his enthusiasm.

Sulking, I discover beauty beneath the surface.
Like many other spheres of life,
I find a hidden eco-system at the edge of the pond,
Woven between the algae, guppies and tiny frogs.
As I sit and fume about my discomfort, misery and him
is the certainty that we, too, are intermingled.
Energy, fate, force or whim
Compels me to accept the reality that I had
attempted to submerge.
The certainty that I believe in our love, our future,
and that our affections will once again resurface.