Crossing the River at Prairie du Chien

Lin Nelson Benedek

When I first saw the Mississippi
I wanted to dress in foliage and see
my reflection on that murky surface,
ride it by raft or riverboat,
be a water bride.

Maybe it was all the hours I’d spent
on those silty waters with that nature boy,
Huck (the scoundrel). I like to think
I’d have been a better friend to Jim.

I would’ve loved it anyway, even without the book.
All that breadth — bank to bank — and depth — cattails,
Black-eyed Susan’s, dense shrubs, trees
and fallen logs. Some feelings are too big
to ignore. Rivers, where have you been
all my life?


Lin Nelson Benedek is a third generation Californian, currently living in Marina del Rey. She is a practicing psychotherapist with an MFA in poetry from Pacific University (2015). Her work has been published in Grey Sparrow, Flutter, Damselfly, Cultural Weekly and Postcard Memoir, in the anthologies Poets in Transit, Spectrum: 140 Southern California Poets; and ITWOW, an international anthology of poems by women. LIn Nelson Benedek’s first full-length poetry collection, I Was Going to Be a Cowgirl, was released earlier this year by Aldrich Press/Kelsay Books. 

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