This one took a bit longer than a half hour, but I wanted to finish it. Still needs workshopped/reviewed/edited.
The river is an old man in a
smelly nursing home. The smell is
like peanut butter in
the desert sun. The smell is not
quite his fault.
The old man is a few feet
shorter than usual and
long long ago lost any use
for dignity. Instead, he sinks
into his bed, and exposes
himself to passerby.
Four unmatched tires start
to dry in the sun. Mosquitos
lay their eggs in the shaded
toruses, humid and algal. One,
bald like the man, has a bit
of musty hemp rope tied to it.
Sixty miles upstream the rest of
the rope hangs noosely over a pond.
The pond misses jupiter laughter and
saturn splashes. The second tire
has a wide white wall from the
old Chevrolet, the very car
where our old man sat close
to a real girl and touched
her warm back with raindrop fingers.
Tire number three, from the war,
from some vehicle shuttling men
frontward and corpses backward,
driven by our hero, Old Man River.
The fourth tire has a story
of its own. It shines
like mosquito wings and its tread
is heavy with the cilia of unworn rubber.
The river and the old man,
bankrupt and decrepit,
keep some secrets.