A few days back, the stream barbled, tribbed,
sang staccato while sliding under Mooseman Bridge
polishing the rocks with its song.
The summer warblers, all peach and honeyed
answered in song. Today I can’t hear the water
over the deadheads.
Where purple coneflowers
used to rocket from their beds, there’s these
prick-your-finger-blackened-quill dead heads.
They hum louder, Oh God-- almost a dull roar.
I could trim them, or cut back what has died--
new growth might bloom. I could dig out their roots
to steep them--a tea to keep away winter chill.
Ah, but there is a bird. Look. He is pecking the seeds
ever so slyly. He doesn’t want me to see him--
happy for an easy meal, his feathers dark
as their grey stalks. Do I choose glove and blade,
the required price-- scrapes and cuts,
a little blood? No. I’ll let it go.
Birds and winter’s ice will do their work.
Spring will come again on its own.
You know what I'd like to be? A Mooseman Bridge
from Valentine Nebraska, my beams solid Douglas Fir
grey as smoke, my trusses steal, glazed with rust.
I'd hold a grizzly five tons without bulging a muscle--
over air, water, stone each footstep resounds
from Valentine Nebraska, my beams
solid Douglas Fir grey as smoke,
my trusses steal, glazed with rust.
Rich in nuts and bolts, a molten rainbow,
A Mooseman Bridge, I'd hold a grizzly
five tons without bulging a muscle--
over air, water, stone each step resounds
against my barreled chest
brings you closer--my heart splayed out
for you to walk across.