Steel River

A glittering scar tears apart a meadow;

On either side, trees black with death

Haul the burden of the steel-wool sky.

A mile deep and fifty long, a river rolls:

 

River of riches, stream of steel,

Dazzling the eyes which crave it!

They plunge their toes into the earth

Where then—now roots—they drink.

 

New blood surges through them,

Sending their limbs skyward.

Their hands contort into spidery frames

As their backs collapse beneath the sky.

 

Eyes and teeth drop into the river,

Fingernails split, sprouting branches,

The gaping holes are plugged with knots

Of rotting, fetid oak.

 

A glittering scar shreds the heart of a meadow;

On either side, anguished trees

Haul the burden of the gunmetal sky.

A mile deep and sixty long, a river rolls.