Meditation on “The Mississippi” by Ellsworth Kelly

An artist wants people to see what isn’t there;
a poet helps people to see what is there that they haven’t noticed.

—Larry Welo, Printmaker, Painter

Behind that wave,
            a bottled note, tossed in at Red Wing,
            floating to Goose Island.
Under this crest,
            a muskie chases a perch.
Beneath the current
            Aunt Esther’s discarded Chesterfield
            from the days when she still thought about marriage.
In the shallows
            A father and two children wade.
Rounding the bend, beyond the frame,
            A coal barge.
Far below in the mud
            june bug larvae.
Here on the shore, watching,
            the artist,
            fishers from Milwaukee.
On the stark, dark surface,
            water from everywhere.
Behind you,
            the sun is rising.

—Brent Christianson