Last night flood replaced drought.
No world but water. A network of cities
and villages buried the way ghost towns
are flooded when lakes are dammed
to create power. You and I flocked
to one of those lakes when I was a child,
unaware of the grave stones shifting
beneath us, not even the marble stone
placed for a boy-child named Johnny Parks.
Our heads were turned upward, toward sun
and blistering sky. The water I float on now
is something else, not lake, but part of me.
Call it core, call it essence—it is what ties
me to you. My arms reach as far as they can
to touch who I am becoming: the wet one,
the wild one, the only one capable of all this
destruction. One house at a time, one feed lot,
one church and its steeple, the people inside
running to flee me, all of them doomed.
by M Ross Henry
M Ross Henry lives and writes in the lower Missouri River Basin. The motto of the state where M lives is ad astra per aspera, meaning "to the stars through difficulties," which captures not only the essence of the human condition but also the attempt to capture that condition in and through poetry.