Monday, April 28, 2014

At Crooked River

Three hundred feet straight down, there’s a bicycle
smashed flat on the rocks. Tires crushed
into white ovals. A girl’s bike,
too far from the bridge to have been dropped or thrown.
Maybe the spring floods brought it down.

Picture water rising, whistling like wind
through spare grass. No lawns behind the house
in this soilless country where hawks rise,
three white ladies float on the horizon
and the Deschutes bluffs hold up the sky. A mother
grabs her child and runs for high ground
leaving the river, cheated and hungry
only a bicycle to devour.

A small sacrifice. An acceptable loss.
A skeleton of bent rubber and twisted metal.
What wouldn’t you give up to save your daughter’s bones
from flood, fire
or a rising tide of war?

Available! High-Voltage Lines, Knocking from Inside

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