The Susquehanna 

In Pennsylvania I follow the river

On Highway 15. The Susquehanna.

It gets water from swamps and hillsides to make a barrier

And a place where boys can float on innertubes, 

Cast fishing lines and dive off tall trees on the riverbank. 

My dad used to call this Pennsyltucky, home of the 

Pennsylvania hillbillies, when he grew up in New York State

Where my grandpa, who I never met, used to stride over roots and

Streams when he and my dad went to the Chemung River to go fishing. 

We leave the Susquehanna in Williamsport, which is up on a bluff,

As the highway takes us to the Finger Lakes and my cousin Julie in Rochester.

If my grandpa lived longer I could have followed him to the Chemung.

I’d struggle to put a worm on a hook and put it into the river,

That wide band of water and of dreams from the travelers on its banks.

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