Thursday, July 18, 2013

recovering notes from the deep, part 5

there were a hundred reasons
to go live in northern minnesota in 1976
one of which was
it was long past time to evacuate pittsburgh
     the acid of the air truly damaging
young & not ready to be old       lungs
& walls that held us in     a good bit of it     our own doing
     you just had to leave to see it

my young family never believed in panaceas
though what we found in the great north woods
made the winter of hard knocks
a real wakeup
like the cold at the end of the night
     of 38 below
before restarting the wood furnace
or that first blast of cold air
coming out of the sauna

the mornings came especially early
for an electrician at a taconite plant
     unless you were shifting
     to nights or afternoons
     or you got a call to come in
          right now
     for an emergency
and then the foreman
rather calmly saying
     here are the new schematics
     we need to get this online
          right now
          and you did

when the creeks and lakes finally thawed
& the canada geese touched down near the pole barn
fluttering through the swamp grass
     the beginnings of green for a worked-out hay field
     created an aura
          like being freed
          or saved
          just in time

there should be no personal claims
within the commons
     the state forests
     near the continental divide
     & a thousand lakes just in the county
keeping the lakes open
& the wolves & all the species protected
brought out the worst of the human ones
     towing their snowmobiles & all-terrain-vehicles
     up from the cities
     and yeah     they had their bought-and-paid-for allies
     in the state legislature
though i have to admit
we made a few backcountry
cross-country ski trails
     that will always be secret
     lost between poplar and tamarack ridges
          beyond the reach of the engines
          the greasy hands called progress
               into the quiet
                    deep
                    forever living

--- e b bortz

3 comments:

the other EB said...

I remember it like yesteryear.

e b bortz said...

i remember all the xc skis on the porch.

Irving said...

This is fantastic!