And Now the Great Flood Arrives Again – Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

Flood at Giverny – Claude Monet

Poetry by Michael H. Brownstein

–after the Missouri flooded in the spring–all of the way into the summer–it has decided to flood again (Jefferson City, MO 2019)

Earth blisters into a break towards a view of the bench—
a stutter of grass, a scar of leaf:
the great Missouri’s flood water,
stagnant pools over bottom-land and farms,
muddy ponds on the Katy Trail
gone.

A strong-arm of light,
blotted sheets of humidity,
water slipping into cracks varnishing hard scrabble–
no rain for days, no rain for weeks,
the river losing itself in potholes along its bank,
diminishes.

Have you ever stood
stock-still
on a hill waiting for a breeze that never comes?

Branches, too, yearn for windfall,
vines and brush brown,
and we go about our work drinking in salt water sweat,
circling the water-wagon at the far end of the field.


Michael H. Brownstein’s latest volume of poetry, A Slipknot Into Somewhere Else was recently published by Cholla Needles Press (2018).

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