"The Delaware and Raritan Canal"

I really enjoy this poem about a place so local to me. Thanks, Patty.  - poetheart 03/10/02

As I walk on pine needles pressed in mud
My hair blows across my face
The day is still quite overcast
But it's nice to come here-- to this thinking place.

Sometimes the sun reflects on ripples
Where the ducks paddle along the bank
I know fishermen and teens were here
From the bobbers on lines, caught on vines
And empty bottles from which they drank.

Up on the path the gravel crunches
Under my running shoes
The windchimes on the tender's house
Jingle the March wind's blues.

Usually I walk the mile and pause to smile
Each time a stranger passes by
Some cycle through, while others canoe
But today it is only I.

Ahead there's a bridge and over the rail
You can see the waterfall rush over the edge
The sound of the water puts me at ease
And I walk toward it from the path's thorny ledge.

The air is chilled where the water's spilled
From one lock into another
It's neat how one side of the Griggstown Bridge
Has water higher than the other.

History says that Irish immigrants dug out this old canal by hand
And mules pulled barges that hauled great loads
But I've only seen horseback riders and floating spiders
And logs carrying turtles or bloated toads.

Since it's chilly and the woods are not yet green
Along the sandy orange trail I walk
I will come back on a warmer day--
Maybe bring a friend along so I can talk.

Wouldn't it be nice
If you could be that pal?
Please come walk and talk with me
Along the Delaware and Raritan Canal. . .

by Patricia Lynn

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