Lock and Dam No. 7

On a boat close an expansive dam
A boy accompanied an Old Man
Fishing for hours cold hands
Only to have come up few clams

The river remained rough
Water spray wet brown splash
Bubbles in the water swirling
Bottom of boat held beer cans

Farther up the boy could see birds
Up close to the tumblers brightly red
Over white-caps exchanged few words
The Old Man palmed his rod in hand

Lock and Dam 7 lent no pension
Yet many prospered in its wake
The Old Man and the boy lay patient
They trolled up and down, but had to wait

Ice coated concrete walls
With rope or hook they fastened tight
Daylight lasted only so long in afternoons
The highway lights suggested night

Untying they came undone
River smell and worms in hand
The fish on the stringer were meager
Pushing off they went towards land

They passed others by and by
Anglers that were mastered
Coming closer to the landing point
Lights on avoiding disaster

Trailing wake in full gait
An out-board went ‘bout 20 knots
Blackness and bugs flew by about them
As they came closer to the docks

Lamplight held empty parking lot
Shown just below the river’s edge
The flat-bottom came parallel the wooden structure
The boy managed at his sea legs

With a hard bump from running in fast
A rope was fastened—quick, and down
The boat made way with the water
The boy made feet with wooden ground

Cold rushed from the river valley out
Nothing held the boy more in life
Than to be out near the Mighty Mississippi
In the dwindling hours of night

As children we are exposed to habits which prove a tradition
As adults we revisit those events to see what lessons were given.

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