Travels with Dad
IV - Shoreside

I could wander the afternoon
away in the German forests that stretch 
out of reach of the shore,
our ship tacking the Danube,
this shore, this village,
that shore, that village and back,
threading blues and browns into pictures
we take on the railings, a shipboard banquet 
for the tourists on deck, a 
dining room banquet below, stewards, staff and 
helmsman scurry to bring more, tour guides 
stuff us in the maws of buses, departing.

Dad and I tend beer gardens here -
this circle of hedges and patrons,
conversations in the local language
a tide-pool ebb and flow; pretzels twist in
baskets, beer bottle bottoms’ wet circles
on the cardboard surfaces of these square things 
without English names, 
the zig-zag path of sparrows 
on the gravel below, tiny beaks plink 
like spoons we dip into goulash bowls, 
the sausages just lie there plump and round, 
their glistening soundless and perfect.

© Jonathan Bohrn (2007)
beergarden fare
beer garden fare
composite graphic


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