Crest Above Flooded Stage
Wings of the melancholy bird
lift his sorrowing shadow
up and away from the rutted
rivulets of the melting hillside.
Farmland silts downstream,
precious papers curl and ripple,
impermanence of place made plain,
people caught in undertows.
Sturdy wood once given life
by the Mother of Waters
swells, delaminating as it
returns to the essential element.
Verdant green foliage now
brown and yellow beneath
murky, choking mud
Originally published in California Quarterly Volume 42 Number 2.
Also appeared in Distilled Lives Volume 3.