In Memory of Bob Porter
By Wayne Parker

He chose a canyon
where the King’s River
snowmelts down mountains bright
turning again to white
crashing over boulders and through
calm pools and falls wild again

Through bright morning rapids
until his turn at the rock
where a kayak shouldn’t be
on the river you often see
mistakes made easy
not like this

He couldn’t go right
so he squeezed left
over the drop and pinned the bow
help by water dead heavy now
pulled from the boat by friends’ rope
gone slack and he was swept away

And pinned under boulders
for the Rest of his life
in a dark place of deep roar
like places he had risked before
In fun
for his wild heart

Years ago I was trapped
and he tried to help
our paddles and boats were lost
A torn knee but no lasting cost
and we laughed
at his car’s empty load

On the water still
I remember him
and how we always knew
life risks death and a few
in a breathless moment
take the river home