Like Ghosts of Eagles

Robert Francis

The Indians have mostly gone

but not before they named the rivers

the rivers flow on

and the names of the rivers flow with them

Susquehanna Shenandoah

The rivers are now polluted plundered

but not the names of the rivers

cool and inviolate as ever

pure as on the morning of creation

Tennessee Tombigbee

If the rivers themselves should ever perish

I think the names will somehow somewhere hover

like ghosts of eagles

those mighty whisperers

Missouri Mississippi