Maxwell Bodenheim

1892 - 1954 / Mississippi / United States

Advice To A River Steam-Boat

The brass band plays upon your decks,
Like a sturdy harlot aping mirth,
And people in starched shields
Stuff their passions with sweet words,
Life is swishing in the air,
Like a tipsy, unseen bridegroom.

O humbly grunting river boat,
Take the churning water and the sun
Like one who plays with his own chains
And flings their turmoil to the sky.
Only a voice can leap above high walls.
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