THE RIVER BENEATH
There's a river down below
in the center of the earth
where the dead lie
in lounge chairs with zinc oxide noses
and read Stephen King books, or fish
for bass and perch on the bank
while chewing on cattails. Children
splash about at the river's edge wearing
white swan floats or orange water wings,
while teens team up to play Marco Polo
or dive off the dock
to impress their steadies.
In the evening, the dead men build
bonfires, roast wieners and sticky S'mores,
the children gather around for tales
of the One Armed Man then snuggle
deep in sleeping bags for the night.
And when God's Spirit moves
like a storm cloud over their fair land,
searching for souls, the dead women
drop their knitting, snatch children
from their naps, and scurry to the hills
to hide in caves or crouch
behind boulders and tremble for fear
lest they be born once again.
by Caroline Reichard
Thanks for reading!