Working at the Bottom

Paint shed

The children played

On the swings.

His granddaughter sat

In the sandbox.

He stared down the bank

At the river

And watched the carp

Work at the bottom;

Mud trails followed

After them.

Twenty years ago

He stood by the paint shed;

Right about where

the monkey bars are now

in his work boots

and hard hat.

On a coffee break he watched

The carp work at the bottom;

Mud trails followed

After them.


This is Lou’s poem found scrawled and pegged to a cork board when cleaning out our parent’s house.



There is a path through the ruins where one can amble for quiet hours

taking care not to trip over what once was overhead.

Or fall into the leavings below.

Where once were sirens, whistles, smoke, roars and crashing,

Are now trees, brush, and birds-the twittering sentinels

Of what has passed.

The path probably started as a path-a deer trail through the woods.

Then it became a road that first wagons and carts

then cars and trucks hustled commerce along.

None of those could pick a trail through now.

It’s reverted to a deer trail again, fit only for careful feet, bicycles or, I suppose a horse and rider.

But a horse, though trained, is not much different than the rodents, deer and coyotes

that now use this thoroughfare.

Ruined for us by us.

Thus saved.