Roll On Mississippi

I visited  New Orleans
and saw all there was
of the Mississippi River.

Then I went to St. Louis, and said,
what’s that river passing by?
The great Mississippi passing by,
a voice said.

It’s  longer than I thought, I said.

I was in Minneapolis and saw
a river flowing through.

That looks like the Mississippi, I said.
The guy driving said,
Yea, that’s the Mississippi flowing through.

My wife said,
the Mississippi is the fourth longest
in the world. I said,

the first three?
Amazon, Nike, Yangtze, she said.

I paused for a moment and said,
I’ve been on the Nile and watched
the Yangtze passing through.

I then said,
I saw the middle of the Mississippi
passing by.

It was in Hannibal, Missouri
when  I saw the middle part
of the Mississippi passing by.

I said, I’ve seen great rivers
flowing through.

But I grew up looking at a ditch
that didn’t pass by.

It was the San Gabriel River.
Why call it a river
if it doesn’t pass by?