Black Acorn

In strange water after it rained four and a half inches
The pond surface is up above the watershield
And sits cupped on the leaves of American Lotus
Hard to get anything done in the rain

Who wants to go out and step down the sassafras and ragweed
To still get chiggers along calves through long pants and sleeves soaked?

So in the high water we scout wapato by canoe and slide down muskrat roads
Watch the green heron hop up high through the dead oak

We edge along shore to harvest blackberries bent ripe to the water
Then up a beaver road to hear the flood coming down over his dam,
His little pond where we ice skate in winter

Hard to get anything done so we swim in the rain
And listen to blues in the sunroom
To see that Henry Thomas and his pan pipes
Can sometimes turn the day around

It keeps raining
The roof leaks keep dripping
And out on the surface of the pond
Atop the deep, dark and cold
A black acorn floats


​”​This man is a long ways from home
And he got a brown skin woman
And he know pay day is comin’ pretty soon
And his woman is shoutin’ ’cause it’s morn’ of pay day
And the old mule is hungry, and the sun is goin’ down
The man he wish’t that pay day would move off a little further
So he wouldn’t have to pay the woman nothin'”
– Leadbelly


6 thoughts on “Black Acorn”

  1. Such a beautiful poem, I read many times over.
    It reminded me of that river guy who calls himself the Last River Rat. Also, if you are ever in the area, take the kids to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, IA right on IL border on the Mississippi, it has a lot of Mark Twain stuff, steamboats, river creatures you can hold and touch, water play, etc etc, my kids’ favorite (mine too 🙂 ).

  2. I too really enjoyed this poem. I always love hearing your description of the natural world you see. I love the details.
    It’s been wet here, but nowhere near flooding. I usually take the weather as it comes, but I wish it wouldn’t rain so much this year.

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