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Haunted by Waters

for Norman Maclean


You strive to roll your prose

as the river in your youth

rolled cobbles round and smooth,

but words are lunker trout

lurking under willows

or lolling in the shallows.


You long to launch your flies

like an artist from the pastó

a canvas-vested Marlowe

crafting cutthroat tragedies

with every shadow-cast

at the Blackfoot's braided eddies.


Reckless Marlowe, feckless Pauló

whose fault is a tavern brawl?

With empty creel you hobble

beside a silted channel,

mourning the stricken river

and your murdered brother.


Timothy Murphy



From The Deed of Gift, Story Line Press,

© 1998. Reprinted by permission of the

author and Story Line Press, Ashland,


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