Blast! over the last ridge before pasture.
The great white sycamore shatters the oriole’s net-nest.
An autumn olive catches the fledgling, embraces its beating heart.
Singed by relentless summer, hills west waver/duck at the gale.
Flattened clay sweeps across ochre’d land once lush with grain.
A solitary Queen Anne’s Lace leans listless an inch above the dirt.
From above, a flash of fire aims at the yellow trucks.
Clang! and sizzle lingers as oiled flames lick the tires.
That’s the western ridge, where they build relentlessly.
Here, the thin valley tapers into bosky poplar shadows.
Here, reprisal spills into trees scorned, fueled by rancor.
Backs to winged terror, giants bear wee babes. Fling them to safety.
Mother shivers, cradles the fevered child. Pestilence as vengeance.
Man’s callow disregard. Their avarice. Their rapacity. Their nescience.
Marjorie Gowdy writes at home in the Blue Ridge mountains of Callaway, VA. Gowdy was Founding Executive Director of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi, MS, where she worked for 18 years. Now retired, she worked in other fields that fed her love of writing, including as a grants writer. Her poetry has been published in the Roanoke Review, Artemis Journal, and Valley Voices (Mississippi Valley State University). Her essays are included in Katrina: Mississippi Women Remember (2007). Gowdy also paints, with a recent work accepted by the Virginia Beach Artists’ Center.