"White's Ferry"

For the month of the Blue Moon, a little summer romance and reminiscence perhaps amidst the statuesque floodplain sycamores, following a moonlight ferry ride across the Potomac

The Jubal Early,
Slowly, steadily, restlessly
Making its way back and forth across the water

All quiet along the Potomac tonight
Moonglow on the ripples
sweet summer smells,
the moist floodplain,
and the stately sycamores

Where once great grey armies stretched
Now fields sprout trophy houses
Where young lovers courted by water's edge
Now idle the restless commuters
Waiting for their shortcut
Five minutes of peace on the water
And right back to the routine and tumult of traffic
On the far bank

We are crossing over my love, into Virginia!
The welcome warmth of the South
and its front gate is locked and guarded not by grey ghosts,
but by suburban dreams built on the invisible wealth
of information

The ferryman hears the water,
Hears the echo of lovers cavorting and cooing
Delighting in discovery of their nascent sensations

His ancestors carried Marse Robert's army
home from the heartbreak at Gettysburg
Back to beloved Old Dominion

But we are not in a soldiering way tonight
The river still steps down, mindless of human folly
finding her way through the chasm at Great Falls
fighting the tide past Washington's Mount Vernon
for a hundred miles more before yielding
to the stronger tide of the Chesapeake

Yet here along the rippling shadow waters
Young lovers still flit like ghosts through the trunks
The moon remembers the blood red river
The ferryman remembers the cool breeze
Tempering the muggy summer's eve for a moment
Greeting the weary traveler returning home to the new Dominion

Come away my love!
Let us walk in the shade of the sycamores
And we shall dream of growing older.



Copyright © Andrew McKnight. All Rights Reserved.

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