The old mill hides a wide, humble, gatherer’s river
made up of Black creek, Silver creek, and Rainbow creek water
. . . Cobechenonk they called it who left canoes on its lower bank
and respectfully walked over its silted, pebbly floor; or kept far,
and high up when the river swelled, browned, and bulged in its flow,
bearing nothing without a steep price: paid at once, or moments later,
especially for characters with restless minds drawn to its moody tow.
Thinned of shade trees by the old mill and its early colonists,
who named it Humber, the river banks, fish somewhere in-between,
give at times, while fish pass unbaited in the water made deep yesterday
— all day yesterday — and the day prior, corrupting the glass surface
Westies find best to reflect on, in passing by train, bike, or on foot.
But Westies not being the best fish
what foolishness to hazard being swept away by turbid water
when Chinatown, flying red dragons rain or shine, has fish
on beds of ice and beds of rice; fish enough
for dinner tonight, and many nights more;
Yet, for some it is never quiet, the river that gave the mill life — It
calls them in canoes, inflatables, and waders — unwilling to be forgotten,
and whispering about their heritage.
It says, “Your fathers prospered by me
“in those early days when they passed here to the Great Lakes,
“and if you take care, I may do the same for you. Come!”