A Trip to the Top of The Arch

The barges under the bridge
float farther up the Mississippi
River, fighting the quick current
toward the north, toward home.
I feel the flow of the river water
in my chest, pressed against
the wall as I look out one of
the little windows at the top
of the gateway to the West, the
gateway to the rest of my life.
From this vantage point,
it is clear I will always be living
this series of city council
meetings and absentminded
metaphors. Starving journalist
and striving artist, praying
to die poor or get rich trying.

by James Patrick Schmidt

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