World

Hudson Walk

August 26, 2021 by

HudsonEmbedPhoto by the author.

On the beach I saw a sturgeon, dead,
washed up, left lying by the ebbing tide.
Its reeking hulk attracted flies; its fleshy bulk
soon to be gored by ospreys, and prodded
by sticks of curious passersby, was bloated –
like the river was, swollen by the run-off
of a thousand dirty streams: summer’s way
of coping with the stupefying heat, while spurring
the green but tangled, strangling creep of weeds
that restless ride the turbid, oily swell.

I saw a seabird, too, its wings pure white,
beating its way against the lengthening shadows
of the shoreline and my mind – an arrow flying
down the channel, then toward the west –
its goal the recumbent torso and the shoulders
of the blue-green hills that mark the line
between the land and sky – between knowledge
of what’s here, and what might lie beyond:

See how it takes its weight for granted,
and the downward pull of gravity, but still
aims upward, spurning melancholy, death –
serene, as if driven onward by some hope;
or else drawn forward, as by some great magnet
pulsing from the radiant arc of evening –
from the waning (only till tomorrow) but
still blazing light: from the all-powerful sun.

Click here to see the Atlantic sturgeon that washed up on the shore of the Hudson at the Mount Community in July 2021 (and inspired this poem) – it was more than six feet long, and weighed approximately 90 pounds.

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About the author

Chris and Bea Zimmerman

Chris Zimmerman

Chris and his wife, Bea, live at The Mount, a Bruderhof in Esopus, New York.

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