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Mermaid


The rapids would
Wash away years
Of silly fears
That legs
Are better than a tail
Desire to swim
In two directions
Upstream to you
Downstream to the ocean
Where do Mermaids go
To the trees
Or to the sands
Do I desire the salt
Rushing through my veins
To my brain
Or the fresh water
Where I could be caught
By a fisherman
On the white rapids
Of the Rogue River
Two blocks from the house
In the sun belt of Oregon
Where I could be warmed
By the heat of a wood stove
Stoked by the hands
Of a woodcutter as you
Cut this tall strong tail
In half or separate these
Two women fish twirling
In your net
Hot in the frying pan
On a Saturday afternoon
After fishing with your family
Which way do I go
To your worm
Hook embedded in my palate
Are you going to eat me up
Or throw me back
Legal limits there in that rule book
For all other fish
Except the Mermaids
Swimming in opposite directions
Take your measurements
Get out the ruler
Rule me Rogue River Man
Let me have legs too
So you can fry this fish
With the recipe of touch.


3/28/2006 0423 cj









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