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The Flumes 

As we walk together for the first time,

Suspended high above the Feather River

On ancient architecture designed to carry

Logs and men towards a more prosperous future,

We wonder aloud about the wisdom of male bonding.


Two generations of brothers-in-law

Focused on the 12-inch metal grate

That separates us from the flowing water.

Surely my son is not going to float back beneath us,

And I am not going to look down towards the river.


Too late, as I take the visual plunge

And try to comprehend the enormity

Of loggers and pioneers, fathers and sons,

And the generations of genetic resonance

That now move our feet above the earth.


Why us, why here, why now?


As we use all 5 points of contact

To make our way down the last 200 feet

Of what vaguely resembles a trail,

I can feel how matter bends space

To discourage such foolhardy treks.


My son dismisses the last 30 feet,

As we scramble to the water's edge

To immerse ourselves in the clarity

That always surfaces in the minds of men,

When swimming together in unknown waters.


On the way back up the hill

We walk and laugh above my bobbing son,

And stop when we are most exposed

To admire the way water moves calmly

Towards its final resting place.

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Kirk Gothier

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