Creek Chub, Little Bluestone River

What a scrupulous
                                ugliness—
surpassing
tires in slack water, antifreeze bottles, torn
T-shirt, 6-pack of Coors, all the things
of river-veined earth—
                                      a creek chub
lounging in a sump of stillness
below a waterfall
parched to a trickle.

Lumpish and still
in the shadows of a pool—
                                            I almost mistook it for
an anchor rusting
below a guise of sky
among the mud-gray rocks
                                             that time let fall.

 

David Salner worked for 25 years as an iron ore miner, steelworker, and general laborer. His second book, Working Here, was published by Minnesota State University’s Rooster Hill Press in 2010. His poetry appears in Poetry Daily, Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry Northwest, Threepenny Review, and many other journals.