Poem: The Cliffs at Cushman

Yellow machines chip awayAt the grey limestone ridge To widen a black river of asphalt That flows like some primordial seep Towards the endless Montana horizon. This is the road that falls off the edge of the Earth.

Cottonwoods lie on their side, Their green leaves flickering in the summer breeze, Roots trembling in the harsh sunlight Like so many blind eels plucked from their Cool dark place, Undone by this fearful storm.

Where do we run so fast that there is no place for these trees? The yellow dozer coughs black smoke, Rages against grey boulders and crashing limbs. Where do we run so fast and What is that shadow so close behind?

Tom Elliott Grass Range, Montana

PDF of this article