two weeks back the river ran through
on a tear to the sea

trucks and trees
slid under the arched  bridge on brown swells

a small shop pirouetted, swirled off its piers,
floated downstream and lodged against
gates of the dam

cellar filled with silt
and whatever the river dredged,
sucked from cesspools and
gardens of summer afternoons;
landfills and barns earth and offal
left along its banks in basements
in streets

cornfield high enough the day before
when its cobbed yield might have grinned yellow
from white plates until the hurricane laid it low
its ranks of stalks now pulled flat by the river’s winnowing rake
lay supine as a man after a sweet or savage life
lies still before the sweep of the sea

by Jim Culleny

One thought on “Aftermath

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