Aftermath


.
two weeks back the river tore through
on its fall to the sea, trucks and trees
slid under the arched bridge on brown swells,
a small shop pirouetted off its piers,
floated downstream and lodged against
the dam gates, cellars filled with silt
and whatever the river’d dredged,
whatever it sucked from cesspools
whatever it  ripped from 
gardens
of summer afternoons, 
landfills and barns,
earth and offal 
left along its banks,
in basements, 
in streets

……………… a 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
9/22/11

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