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Jody Young
Prologue and epilogue by Paul Woodcock

I really wanted to share this poem which my sister wrote, a fellow canoeist.

Several years ago Mary and I took a trip down he Illinois River in Oklahoma.  It is just outside of Tahlequah, OK, the capital of the Cherokee nation.  It is a 52-mile stretch of river with a lot of class 1 rapids.  There is an outfitter about every 10 miles and it is like paddling the 610-loop with all the drivers practicing for there learner's permit. We made the run and were sitting on a cliff watching all the boaters flip trying to negotiate a small rapid.  We watched as one canoe tipped over and lost everything including a large cooler.  It went under and never came up.  About a half hour later a church group came through and the cooler popped to the surface  One of the boys in the second boat yelled "it's mine" so I guess they had some cold ones on the sly around the campfire that night.  I told this story to my sister and when she was in Tahlequah for the yearly POW WOW, inducting new members into the tribe, she journeyed to Sparrow Hawk Camp to observe the fun.  Later, she wrote this poem about it.    
Saturday Afternoon On the Illinois  River
They come in droves
To whom they paid the rent
Riding the gentle current
With the sound of metal scraping rocks
The sound of metal crashing into metal
As some stop for a brief respite
From their circular journey.
White asses
Flashing below that rim of fat
That men have
Exposed as they disembark.
Long tan legs
Insolent in lawn chairs
Until the rapids take them.
Then watery thrashing for
Swamped coolers and cans
Of that elixir
That is the common theme.
And the canoes that carry them
Proud symbols of grace and wildness
Not one bright hull unmarred
From previous engagements.
Bumper boats
Avoiding the wary waders
Who surely need a stop light
Set mid-stream
For their protection.
Oh, where is Hiawatha?

If you enjoyed this poem, the book can be bought at Amazon, or at this web site:
These poems are captured moments of her life snapshots in words, of places and people that helped shape the story of her life.  I am very proud of my family and especially Jody for being able to share them with others.

the earth is my mother.
the sky is my father
the animals are my brothers
the canoe lets me get closer to them
Paul Woodcock