2013 Myrna Garanis
Myrna Garanis is an Edmonton poet/essayist (Leaf Press 2007 Archive). Her recent work appears In Untying the Apron: Daughters Remember Mothers of the fifties (Guernica, 2013) and is forthcoming in Forty Below: the Edmonton Winter Project, November 2013.
“River Reports” appeared in The Society (St. Peter’s College, Sk) Volume 8, 2011 edition.
River Report I
Chalk Board Report outside the Kootenay Fly Shop, Fernie, B.C., July 2010
All Rivers: Catch and release, Single Hook No Dropper, Debarb
Flies: Green Drales, Cahius, Golden Stones, H & L variants,
Black Stone Fly Nymphs, Prince Nymphs, Realistic Stones.
Bull trout: Black, Green, White Streamers
River Report II
Fishers own a river’s dialect; intimate words for current, pools
and shallows, let loose at a moment’s notice. Wild water
looms large in their stories, streambeds carve narrative.
No river where I grew up. Railroad water car the nearest facsimile.
A well, a pail, parents who fetched and bathed their daughter
in the dishpan. I drank greedily from dippers.
I relied on rain, counted on sky for hues, clouds for wave crests.
School books offered distant myths: the Nile, the Amazon.
I was acquainted with dugouts, spring runoff, and rafts
built by section crews. Keep Out warnings. One slip of a rubber boot
will tip you over the edge. It happened to a boy and his father.
River Report III
I can advise that I am not in it;
the river, that is. And thankful for that.
Was it the bad dream we’ve all had –
one of our beloved flung into the torrent.
All of us reaching for the bobbing torso,
grabbing hold for a moment to the bit
of plaid shirt, cloth slipping from between
thumb and forefinger, vanishing
into the swirl.
Awaken, and there they all are,
snug on the couch, Finding Neemo
on DVD. Yet the fingers ache, arthritis
already setting in from the cold,
from the terror of the night before.