January 10, 2010

on the road to the downsized pulp mill

past the oxeye daisies, five or ten
in a clump in the gravel dust
piling on the leaves and petals

alder and cottonwood saplings
shining in the too-hot sun clinging
to the cutbanks and riverbanks
and the road’s cracked asphalt
gleams with the residue of tar and metal

the sound of the nechako is lost in the blare
of trucks and the glare of the windshields
pass along the far shore where a few
young pines survive and lean over the railway tracks

a bald eagle might pass over but not today—
if there are salmon they would have snuck by
months ago—so crows play in the hot
updrafts and a boy pedals down to look for
saskatoons and room to think of something new