{An Umbrella Special Feature}

Catherine Chandler

is the author of Lines of Flight (Able Muse Press, 2011) and two chapbooks. Her poem “Coming to Terms” won the 2010 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award.

Her poetry and translations have appeared in Measure, Orbis, Comstock Review, The Raintown Review, The Alabama Literary Review, and many other journals and anthologies.

A former McGill University lecturer, she now resides in Saint-Lazare, Quebec and Punta del Este, Uruguay.

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Susquehanna For Wilkes-Barre

The Susquehanna runs its ancient course,
passing by and passing up my town.
Being a river, it carries no remorse
for flood, for mud, or for the tumble-down.
Being a river, it has a total lack
of reverence for triangles of stars,
or for those aged breaker boys with black-
choked lungs drowning their pain in local bars.

And in its rush to reach the Chesapeake,
it sweeps to Maryland; it swirls, it pulls,
not knowing it was once an upstate creek.
The Susquehanna has no truck with fools
like me who spurn its blighted, brown advice,
wavering near its waters. Thinking twice.


[Originally published in Texas Poetry Journal, 2006, as “Wilkes-Barre.”]