Posts Tagged ‘lightning’

“Coppermine Road”

March 4, 2012

severweatherproject.org

 

Coppermine Road

 

When I was a child

Sitting on a hill

In south-central Jersey,

I would watch the roiling thunderstorms

Shoot daggers of lightning

Across hills of the Sourland Mountains

Setting fires to forests,

Pastures–

Torching the barns.

 

 The hand-cranked siren would yowl

And all men over 21

Would answer the call.

To lurk under jacked-up cars,

To pitch hay,

Run the combine

Or start the evening milking

Would get you the cold shoulder

Or worse…

In the local gin mill.

 

Coppermine Road had

A ton of fires,

This gateway to the Sourlands

Stretching miles into Dutch-elmed darkness

As we watched

First the lightning

Then smoke rise into the air,

And heard the howl of the siren

In the valley below.

 

 Mined out, this coppermine,

 Emptied before the Revolution

The sturdy Dutch taking their

Share from the earth,

Leaving little of worth, just the name,

The scars of digging plastered over in time.

 

Perhaps it was a grand conspiracy

Between storm clouds and copper deeper down

A particular cosmic revenge,

Enough to torch the barns

Scare the milk out of cows

And bedevil the men.

 

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2012


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