(Inspired by an article by Ron Nixon)
A barge is something so immense to little boys who view
Them from a Mississippi bridge as they pass two by two.
Filled with coal or sand or oil – or cavernous with space,
A barge majestic on the roll of water has spare grace.
Before the semi trod upon the asphalt highway lane,
Before the horse-drawn wagon crossed the honeysuckled plain,
The river and its cargo went their solitary way;
Full of mud and thunder on a sultry summer’s day.
I could wish to be upon a barge by tugboat prodded;
The envy of the world and by all little boys applauded.
Navigating locks and dams, a Huckleberry Finn –
Baptized daily in the flood and innocent of sin.