Somerset County

The log-crammed trucks smash the yielding air,
Whine like leviathan gnats.
Last week a trucker died at the wheel
On the way home from the mill.
He fell asleep. Or did he wake before?
The wreck looked like a freighter run aground.

One January day, a pulpwood driver tells me,
He skidded the better part of a quarter mile
Toward a stopped school bus.
He played the brake and gears
Like the valves of a trumpet, soft and hard.
And he said he saw himself as a boy:
“About eight years-old—
You forget that stuff.”

If summer here is the sovereign remedy.
The pure swat of northern heat.
Its pleasure lies in ineffability
The true green that governs growing things
But is bound to retreat‚
Bound to turn sullen and spare,
Bound to wait wordlessly in the spell of winter.
Patience was never a human virtue
And never will be.