across the river
Mt. Massamett’s trees succumb,
cool and windy rain’s undo
the grasp of leaves to limb,
sap slows, chlorophyll’s gone as pigment
in an old man’s hair, yellows and reds
gone brown, leaves underfoot dry and spent
in layers deep as dreams blown

but on Rt. 2 below
a ten-wheel rig’s upshift
growls to swift Harley gargles:
long deep-throated note
that dopplers up from
there to here
then down from here to there 

until its song  like smoke disappears
round Catamount’s hump
whose leafless foot slides out just so
to nudge the highway south enough
to let a rider, leather-bound,
swoop that curve
constrained only by rules
of friction and inertia,
to be 
in a rush of wind
and joy.

Jim Culleny
November 2007