Panning For Gold

by Samuel De Lemos

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Gold fever
ran through
our camp, and all
our kids were
anticipating
a profitable return, so

We went down to
Finnegan’s Creek
in Angels Camp,
a few miles down
the road.

With pans in
hand we took
to looking
for that
illusive bullion.

Beautiful
scenery in between
the green tree’d canopy
the golden creek
Frigidly ran.

Yellow nuggets
invisible,
except
in our vivid
imaginations.

Though we
talked of the
possibilities.

The venerable
what if’s-in life?

Under every rock
we diligently searched, even
Hannah got involved
wadding in
the chilly
river,
with her life
vest on.

Though she
was just happy to
get wet, so happy
to get wet like
a walking,
smiling, pollywog.

The older kids
were laboriously searching,
Like a federal crime scene
Investigators.

Looking for
golden clues

One of them found a startled
Crawdad, another found
a nice rounded piece
of water-polished glass,

but no one found the
valuable yellow
California metal.

The precious metal
that 49ers danced
a jig around when found.

We practically searched
every square inch of that
El Dorado
creek.

Knee deep
in water
Panning the sludge,

Finally, the suns rays
were falling and the
temperature was
dropping.

Once the warmth
of the Western sun
Left
our resolve to
strike it rich
wasn’t as
impressive
anymore.

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