Ode to Bowline Point

by Steven McDougal

DEAREST Bowline Point, do not weep for me.
The tears that fall are high in toxicity.
   Empty crack bags in your grassy park,
   Silvery water, the dead little lark,
Sing no more, little birdie, your sweet melody.

Oh sweet Bowline Point, weep if you still can,
For your stopped up creek still and sluggish stands.
   Twice I came to your river view,
   The chunky brick beach with pinkish hue,
T'was here I screened your toxic loamy sands.

Oh Bowline Point, what secrets you possess.
Who was it first came to your dark recess?
   They left the brick ziggurat¹and
   Piles of old car tires rotten
And then left us to figure out the mess.

Spiteful Bowline Point, grant us our reprieve.
There's nothing good here for us to retrieve.
   Just Toxicodendron radicans²
   Amongst the worn out Michelins;
Praying to the itchy god we may leave.

Poor Bowline Point, weep if you can for me;
Glass shards I fell on remain lodged in my knee.
   Our paths will forever mingle and cross,
   Amongst bricks and iridescent moss,
And the dreams that forever link our destiny.

From Bowline Point comes this monody I give.
For the hopes and dreams that defy my procliv-
   ity, I say as Penthseilea of old
   To Achilles, "Grant me to behold
Mine home again — for O, I long to live!''³

¹19th century brick kiln chimney surrounded by old car tires — I expounded upon the combined scene in my field notes for lack of other entertainment.
²Poison ivy
³Paraphrased from the final words of Penthseilea, leader of the Amazons fighting for Troy, just before being fatally run through by Achilles' spear. The full phrase (A.S. Way translation, Loeb Classical Library) reads, ''Or peradventure may compassionate/My youth, and so vouchsafe me to behold/Mine home again? — for O, I long to live!'' Quintus Smyrnaeus, The Fall of Troy I, 607-609.

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