Bones of honor rot in
with mastodons, few finders, fewer lookers,
let the dead rest, they say, where they fell.
In the high season the guides have scouts
who trek cross-country to the sweet holes
on the River of the Good Father,
Mon Pere, Marquette,
stake them out like precious claims,
holding ground with the resolve of mud Marines
or Jesuits in service to le roi,
until the drift boats swirl into view
gondolas with no songs,
powered by the specie of clients,
two-fifty, half up-front,they tell me, a day;
sometimes the guides don't show.
No pro bono in this court, only cash,
no refunds on the river.
You never get
what you have to pay cash for
up front, and dispensations?