Out my old new road, past Rocky’s junkyard
overflowing with rusty cars and barking dogs,
round the bend at Ottie’s chicken farm,
across the old stone bridge, along a grassy field
that winds along a small stream
to our falls at old Cross Creek.
And you journey here in couples or groups,
intent on wading out into my waters,
risking rapids, you step on slippery rocks
like Jesus on the waters. And the sun
warms you enough so you slip off shirts and blouses,
roll up trousers or lift skirts up the thigh.
Together you laugh and call out, at last
immersed in earth’s sweet baptism.
Larry Smith is a poet, fiction writer and biographer of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Kenneth Patchen. His most recent work is Thoreau’s Lost Journal: Poems and Tu Fu Comes to America. He’s a professor emeritus of Bowling Green State University in Ohio and director of Bottom Dog Press. He and his wife live along the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio.