October Poem 5: Traditional American Values

It’s just like water under the bridge, pooled

And stagnant with an oily sheen from

The decomposition of this season’s

Fallen leaves. And the smell. The methane burps

Rising up from the black bottom, and the

Sulfur gas stuck down in the ditch dug from

All the years when the water had moved. To

Walk up on the bridge shows the beauty of

The weathered wood and rusted nails. And the

Path choked by weeds teeming with insects for

The birds to eat. And the dead cat floating

Baptized in the pool of bottom feeders

Plucking at his putrefying innards

In the holy water of the dollar store God.

Sitting on top of a Rock

Butterfly

The bridge spanned across the shallow ravine. Above was the trickling of a stream over a precipice. The water splashes down in the sandy pool at the bridges foot. Two hikers had stopped in the center of the bridge. They were taking turns posing for pictures in front of the weedy falls.

“Move back a little more. I can’t see the waterfall behind you.”

The bridge shook slightly as the man backed up. The weathered handrail bowed back and the man leaned his head and shoulders over the bridge’s edge. Another gaggle of hikers walked over the hill and out from behind the bushes that hid the rest of the trail. They gathered at the edge of the bridge waiting their turn to take pictures at the falls.

The couple left them behind and walked further down the trail. The trail was covered by a crust that crunched lightly with every step, but the wind had a dusty smell as it blew. They came to a long flat stretch. The trees lined either side of a grassy meadow and the trail cut a beige scar across the middle. There was a group of about five butterflies sitting the middle of the trail. They fanned their two toned vibrant blue and velvety black wings. Another butterfly lit down onto a fresh pile of horse manure. It extended its proboscis into the dark brown round of excreta to suck the water from the steaming pile.

The woman pulled the camera out of her pack and began snapping pictures.

“Really, you are taking a picture of horse crap?”

“The butterfly is really pretty. People will just think it is sitting on top of a rock.”