At Niagara Falls by Jerome Mazzaro


Sun Shining Through the Mist at the Brink of Niagara Falls, 2007. Photo by Andrew Porteus. View on the Niagara Falls Public Library website

Watching so much water fall off the edge,
one senses nature’s power.
Standing there, you liquefy and briefly leave
like Ovid’s fleeing nymph.
Saved from a comparable change
by my focus on you, I watch as,
turning away from the flow, you return
and grab tightly at my hand.

Here on a second honeymoon, where
newlyweds normally spend their first,
I recall the lonely docks
of the train station in Detroit
where long ago you also took departure
in the caverned darkness of that hollow ruin.
A mist hung high over the waiting trains
much like the sunshot mist of these falls.

The worlds you traveled then held no
long interest. The one
around us now, beyond the well-kept
ridge of walks and grass and flowers,
is tacky with museums and run-down horror shops.
The lives we shared could hardly be less different.
Still our achievements kept us busy.
Escaping Alpheus, Ovid’s Arethusa turned
a river, babbling to Ceres Proserpina’s fate.
What is it we can learn or tell, melting
as we have in the midday’s noisy crowds?

Source:  Mazzaro published this in The Sewanee Review, Vol. 111, No. 3 (Summer, 2003), p. 407

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