Two Poems Mike Good
The sycamores stand like skeletons
on a stormy day in autumn.
The sky is Pittsburgh gray.
lights on the water shimmer beneath.
I dreamt the wind pulled me to the bottom
of the Youghiogheny spilling
up the Monongahela then
into the Ohio
which poured into the ocean.
The wind swept at my back.
The water became clear as daylight. Sudden.
Terribly. I wept. I collapsed atop a mountain five hundred
feet above Springdale. The mountain was a hill,
but there I’d stood as tall as I’d ever
stood and the river peaked
in its own shade of green
which was not
green. If I could just make out
the Sheetz station bright red across the river
below the smokestack spewing white
onto gray transposing life into life along
the dusky bridges
a train hauls fuel
across the valley
signaling towards Freeport
then onto Kittanning
where the tracks seemed to end.
The hill breaks
like a glacier above the Monongahela.
I could not kneel
beside the Blessed Mother’s shine,
now hid in deer graze. These are not
mountains. Each year sycamores
gather weight. I am not
a sycamore. How many trees
must I plant to be forgiven?
The water answers:
a coal barge churning
through river waste,
the train whistling
psalms across sweet and
flooding the hill
that has always been
Mike Good is from Plum Boro originally (that place after Monroeville on 376). He helped found the Hour After Happy Hour Writing Workshop, and After Happy Hour Review. His poems have appeared in Collision Literary Magazine, and are forthcoming in Nerve Cowboy and Fiction Fix. Currently, he working on his M.F.A. at the Jackson Center for Creative Writing at Hollins University, Roanoke, VA, where he also serves as Editorial Assistant for The Hollins Critic.