Canoeing on the Delaware with Christine

Last night I dreamed one of those dreams,

the kind that doesn’t go away when you wake up,

it was early autumn,

and there I was: drifting down the Delaware,

in a rented canoe, with sweet Christine,

a girl who loved to canoe,

and sail, and play badminton and lacrosse,

unlike myself – fresh from office servitude,

a cube dweller,

an indentured servant to a chair.

I study her closely from behind,

and watch in wonder, as she dips her paddle,

so gently into the great Delaware River,

like she is afraid to hurt the water.

We’re heading south, mid-stream,

a mile or so past Dingmans Ferry,

“on to Washington’s Crossing,” I yell,

“here’s to the father of our country,” she shouts back,

“a merry old soul was he,” I shout out to no one in particular,

we’re throwing caution to the wind,

I notice the stencil on the back of her seat,

NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED ABOARD THIS VESSEL

” what’s up with THAT shit?” I say,

she laughs and

then I tell her she looks just like Pocahontas,

from the back that is,

with her black hair pulled back,

Christine: “Aye Aye Captain Smith,”

I steer us deftly around a rock,

dodge a log, put my back into it,

Pocahontas doesn’t break rhythm,

my heart pounds – my back aches,

“You having fun back there, Jake?”

she says that just to taunt me,

she knows I’m trying to find a beer in the cooler,

with my free hand,

but then she is gone,

so is the river,

so is the canoe,

I’m staring at a white ceiling,

right leg busted in nine places,

strung up like a Christmas goose,

pins and plumbing running every which way,

pans and pulleys,

morphine drip and a nurse from hell,

a doc with no manners at all,

let alone bedside ones,

but, I see the face of my sweet Pocahontas,

as I drift away again,

so glad to see  her face,

instead of the face,

of the bastard,

who cut me off on the I-80 overpass.

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