A Word, the Sound

A Word, the Sound

This was unintentional:
a bridge, somewhere,
away in the country,
was lowered
with a word.
a dam, far away,
on a trickle stream,
was opened
with a word.
This is how floods
begin.
a trickle, slow
and small
but just enough
to overflow banks or roads
downstream.

Animals know the sound:
low grinding scraping slow
crack.
They flee.
We humans always know better
but a man
with his lightning skis
or biting boots
will start it
tomorrow or today
or next week:

The slide the death
ride the avalanche
that will hurl him faster
than before and through
barriers such as trees
and snow and ice boulders
the size of cars
and in the end he will lay,
under a ton of the earth,
that will melt in a month,
crushed.

I should have known:
the rumbles were there
the stream swoll
but her lack of confession
allowed hope.
(hope may be worse than love, in this manner)
While sleep-walking
the choice made the switch thrown, the word said.
The sun came out and with it the crack
and I knew
but I knew not
so I climbed
one foot at a time
until it all gave out
and here I lay in the valley
crushed.

–05 May 2005

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