The view was operatic–
My yard, the slope, the river rock,
The water, the further shore,
Fields, sometimes deer, raccoons,
The highway, concrete stream curving up the hill
Past crops, an apple orchard,
Farm buildings on the far horizon.
I hung a birdfeeder on my deck
Fed nuthatches, titmice
The river splashed high in April,
Trickled through August;
The field tilled, seeded, harvested;
The orchard bloomed, fruited, dropped.
I played Wagner, der Valkyrie.
One spring a bluebird nested,
Fledged four chicks.
I moved across the continent,
Fledged children, picked apples,
Missed those birds, that feeder,
One fall, after I’d gone,
An inland hurricane poured into that creek.
Winds drove rain from the hills,
Torrents carried the house away,
Scoured the yard, the trees, the fields,
Left the view to the deer, bluebirds.
My foundation filled.
The lot grows dandelions,
Queen Anne’s Lace.
Perhaps an old friend drives by,
Says “her home used to be there”
And soon, no one will know
I owned a little house by the river.
previously published in The Timberline Review, 2020