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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.





Potamia (II)


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

earthen water


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.