Red River Wreck of the Steamboat Heroine

Robert_bio_photo_1___version_3__1_by Robert L. Ferrier20 Oct 2014

A log took her down
just south of Fort Towson.
Passengers, crew and some cargo
survived, the rest given up to silt.

She missed the Civil War
pickled pork and pine pitch
salting the currents
her ribs open to great gar and carp
detritus of secrets safe in her hull:
fancy cracked lusterware bowl
high-topped leather boot
wooden box of soap
washing its way to the Gulf.

Then a great flood
washed away history’s cover
exposing the bones of the wreck
oak rudder still standing at stern
broken bits of the side wheel engine
bow broken as if smote
by north wind gods.

So the Heroine yielded her secrets
bleached bounty locked under glass
her manifest recast for the ages.