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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.43 ~ Charles Rammelkamp


Written and Narrated by Charles Rammelkamp





A new word for me —

standing apparently idle in the towpath

watching the slow, slow progress

of the boats in the UK canal

here near Evesham, by the Avon River.


“Possibly from the Lancashire dialect,”

my friend Tony tells me,

“the words gawn and goozle

meaning to gawp or stare.”


I remember my mother’s 

gradual descent into old age,

the same canal down which we all travel;

the day my brother and I “reasoned”

with her to give up her car.

She was past ninety then.


“Face it, Ma, you rarely drive as it is.

Kate and Becky take you to the grocery

whenever you need to shop.”

Her grown granddaughters, in town.

“Think of the money you’ll save

on insurance and maintenance.”


But all she saw: losing her independence,

just as all I see, 

here in the towpath,

the slow, slow progress 

through the locks. 


Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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