Henry M. Spottswood III was born in Mobile, Alabama, and attended Georgia Tech. He went to teach at Western Kentucky University in 1963 and now lives in Maineville, Ohio with his wife Mary. For the last 30 years he has been employed as an addictions counselor.
I’ve a notion about dreams:
They’ve mapped all the rivers
of debt and duty I thought
I’d put behind me.
I wade the shallow Chickasawhay
in July or August. Its warm currents
have carved soft cliffs of white sand
that shift under my bare feet. My jeans
are wet up to my knees. I awake
to the Monday after vacation.
Last night I trembled shivering
on a granite shelf in the French Broad.
It roared and rushed and hissed and tumbled,
primal in the power it steals from winter rains
that fall upstate. As far as I could see ahead,
every ledge and stone and rock funneled
sluices of black, sucking water.
I awoke. The river quieted.
I’ll put a check in the mail.