The Riverboat

along the waterway, at each port she visited
she tied the guide rope securely to the dock
and let her occupants ashore while she sat
refueling and for the loading of the cargo

and in the fine mist of early morning she weighed anchor
departed silently upon the apparent stillness of the water

ports dotted along the journey, alternately port-side, then starboard
from place to place she carried passengers
and cargo mainly ice kept cool in evaporation tanks
designed by an inventor who had died at the patent office

year after year the water
lapped at the sides
blurring the waterline

year after year the passengers
were redistributed along these shores