Submitted Date 06/04/2019

I was floating down a slow moving river

on an old dusty inner tube

pulled from a long dead truck

the water flowed like it had nowhere to be

none of us did

and that was life at the time with no responsibilities

other than laying on the hot rubber

letting the current take us wherever it wanted

the trees along the river banks were in full bloom

but some were naked and dead

I could hear the water trickling through the branches

hanging lifeless in the river

giving the birds something to perch on

as they rested for a moment in the hot sun

occasionally there was the echoing crack of a tree branch

and rustling in the thick matted leaves

from an unseen animal making its way along the shore

there were no clouds that day and the sun was hot

we would eventually come upon a train trestle

stopping to climb up to the tracks

and jump back into the shallow river

I can say there was a certain amount of fear

looking down at the river from so high above

but it quickly faded, as we were young

and there is an absence of fear in youth

we did this for hours until we were sunburned and tired

and would do it many times before summer was over

it has been more than twenty years

and now I stare lazily at the ceiling from my bed

there are responsibilities to so many things

the days are filled with nothing but fear

the sun is blinding and kills you with cancer

the flowing river is a little quicker

and the path more determined yet uncertain

and I sometimes feel like I am drowning

although, I do sometimes still listen for the birds

or the slow trickle of a sluggish river

life isn't as poetic as it once was

but I guess it is what you make of it

if you can make something of it

and a fleeting memory is still better

than staring blankly at your grandchildren

when they ask you what you did in your youth


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  • Tanya Marion 3 years, 4 months ago

    Love this piece. And oh how relatable! Age and experience changes perspective and make you appreciate the little things - whether they be from the past or present 😊 What part of Indiana? My Dad was from Martinsville.

    • Ken Tomaro 3 years, 4 months ago

      Connersville then later in life Bloomington and Greenwood so I definitely know where Martinsville is!

  • Miranda Fotia 3 years, 4 months ago

    I used to love floating down the river. Great descriptions in this one!

  • Rick Doble 3 years, 3 months ago

    Very nice juxtaposition of seeming to do nothing which you later realize had more value than doing something now.

  • No name 3 years, 3 months ago

    Love your poetry! You really set the scene and tell a story without overdoing it.