Sunday, October 12, 2014


What I Found on the Detour

That there are other ways to go —

That the Zimmermans sold their cows
And now there is a hillside of sheep


That the fellow who saws and sells firewood
That his work horses look healthy


That there are other towns
One growing & selling the best tasting corn of the summer


That there are small town libraries
That there are small town post offices


That there are people in both ready to help
That I feel robust seeing and knowing this


That everyone, everyone! pulled off to the side
Of our narrow river road and let others come first


That only one fool barked his car horn because
He won't talk, but he was the only one


That the river is shallower south
Than it is in the north


That there are footbridges with cameras
God help us


That engineers describe a bridge plan 600 feet long out in
Splendid nowhere, and drop it like a lead weight


That others actually propose moving the covered bridge
That was certainly built where it is for a reason


That it has earned and survived a 100 year flood to
Stay where it is, more than anything we know


That a state pond has a morning mist
That floats our eyes


That a working farm, open to the wind, has
The only light shining when I pass at 5AM


That a house I also pass, used to be a slaughter-
House I knew, and what a legacy


That at a corner store my wife met a friend for the first time
They started to shake hands, which fell into a big hug

That passing an abandoned sawmill, quiet as a ghost town
A fisher cat could be seen scrambling where logs were yanked


That the day the Green River Covered Bridge re-opened
Reggie from Colrain stopped, both of us driving trucks five


Miles south of the bridge, and pointed to a bald eagle stone
Still in a tree along the river — he wanted to take a photograph —


And instead the eagle flew

~ Bob Arnold

photo & poem 2014  © bob  arnold


Luster said...


A fine poem. May your piece spread peace through your place.

stay close,

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...


Many thanks, Mike, and may your sentiment prove true
all's well, Bob

David Emmons said...

Got a covered bridge lump in my throat...gulp! Smiles on our faces!

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...


You wouldn't believe (oh yes you would) the amount of malarky that has gone on re this covered bridge. The old timers would today haul in steel I-beam and set them tandem and rebuild and restore the bridge right on top of that mighty mast and keep it all going another 200 years; that's if we had old timers. They'd put a fine blue steel roof on top if they had their way just like they used to paint the undersides of their porch ceilings, that fly-by pretty blue for the gray and sullen winter days when an old timer must see some farm style blue. Instead, today's geniuses put a flat and drab gray roof on. It's all confusion and countless meetings and wearing and tearing the corner of pages, fudging over ideas and not getting the best results for the best world some have called god's country. Yes, we're still one of those, if we protect it.

all's well, Bob