Gulf Coast Near Tampa
He cuts a chunk of squid with a scarred knife-blade
stained almost brown, stabs the bait,
threads the hook through the jelly-like meat,
whips the line far out in the channel,
tells me he's just signed up. A breeze comes in
from thunderheads on the Gulf, and a bank of clouds
trails up the river, smoke-like, from the mouth
to the icy springs. Rough water
flattens around our two lines.
Watch out for yourself, I say.
Watch out for yourself when you get over there.
Three Straight Days
After another storm passes through,
and the parking lot is a lake of rain,
I kneel on my stoop and look at the trees
crowding over the roof line with the sleek
clarity of water on needles and leaves.
It's been raining for three straight days
and it's wet in the garden, wet in the fields.
Rain coats the lilies, the iris spikes,
shines on the tiny azalea twigs. Further up,
rhododendron hide under wet aspen leaves.
I'm an old man, praising summer rain,
how it blesses the bones. When I was a boy,
I ran where the creek water flooded the field,
out in the field where the creek water rolled,
I ran with my pants rolled up to my knees.
David Salner has worked as an iron ore miner, steelworker, machinist, and general laborer. His second book, Working Here (2010),was awarded first prize by Minnesota State University's Rooster Hill Press. His poetry has appeared in The Iowa Review, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, and Threepenny Review. (contact • website)