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Michael Pruchnicki


Panning for Gold on the Fortymile


I spent a summer panning for gold
on the Fortymile River at Tom's place
not far from Chicken
in Alaska

I remember the sunny days
and the hours scratching
in the cold river

The dark waters yielded
little but chicken-feed
specks of ore

separated from river sand
by centrifugal machines
powered by gas

chitty chitty bang bang
and a handful of bright
stuff I culled

I still got a coffee can
of river sand and chicken-feed
downstairs in a tool chest

Submitted: Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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