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The Black River Mills

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Below is the poem entitled The Black River Mills which was written by poet Laura Breidenthal. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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The Black River Mills

The black river mills are seen in the distance
The red skies show spiraling, gray clouds
The earth is man’s canvas
And the mills slowly mix the paint
We have seen the devastation
We have felt the desperation
Some of us wallow in our watercolor
And leave the canvas blank

The mills crush their bones to the bottom
Mixing them nicely into the paint
People are pushed in without thought
Others go in willingly

The river mills are closer to my view
And my brush is stiff and unused
Women and children walk alongside the rivers
The elderly follow and sometimes shake their heads
On a cliff, I watch them all
My brushstroke stiff and worthless

Shakily I climb down the precarious cliff
Brush in hand
Canvas in view 
Watching people suffer in the paint of their mistakes
People wanting to be part of the picture

I never desired this. . .
I wanted to create a masterpiece 

The women and children are gone
—except one
I see a little black boy standing alone
He is watching me curiously
Tears in his eyes

He is a watcher
He was born to suffer
He never desired this either

“I’m sorry.”

The boy smiles sadly and takes my hand
“It’s okay. I understand.”
I shed digital tears
And program some control

It is quiet, save for the sound of the river mills
It has mixed well
The colors are astounding

“Are you sure you want to stay?”

The boy nods.
“No one wants me mixed with them.”

He is a creator
He is a watcher

I dip my brush into the churning waters
I then hand it to the little black boy

“The world is your canvas now. . .” I whisper.

It was NEVER mine to meddle with. . .
And we are set apart for a reason

But together we are incomparable

Copyright © Laura Breidenthal

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  1. Date: 10/16/2012 3:28:00 PM
    Laura, this is a fantastic conceptual poem! It's great to read pieces such as this one. There is an unexpected twist in this poem that was very entertaining to read. Thank you for your encouragement of my amateur work. I have been quite brutal over the last few months when it comes to leaving comments with people. Ok, I am going to randomly choose another poem of yours to read.

  1. Date: 8/29/2012 10:47:00 AM
    You gave me chills with this one... :o) Very heartfelt! These are the poems that I love...The ones that get me! Beautiful! :o)

  1. Date: 8/27/2012 10:48:00 AM
    wow Laura, this is beautiful, such imagery, such profoundness of the way it is. an outstanding poem.

  1. Date: 8/24/2012 9:50:00 PM
    You give cruel necessity such beautiful motive Laura - brilliant metaphor, again; I'm not suprised anylonger with the divinity of your work, but I continue to be awed by the power of it - " some of us wallow in our water color and leave the canvas blank... " tremendous metaphor decribing an idle life - a Princess of Poetry - with respect - J.A.B. %