Slough

From The Properties of Dust

Old PGE Park Gates - Bull Run, Oregon. April 23, 2013 - www.aflitt.com

The foundations under the house

are three feet tall.


A cobbled path

leads into a chain link fence,

crawling with blackberry vines.


I built a swing set there

and I checked the bolts,

every weekend,

after I mowed the lawn,


But rust now holds

hollow metal in place.


The vacant lot next door;

bulldozed.

The lone tree cut down,

replaced with asphalt

and aluminum siding.


When the rain pounds down,

they pump a billion gallons a day

out of here.


If the dikes ever break,

it will all be washed away,

taken back by a jealous river.


It has happened before.


For now, the waters

remain channeled

and the gouged out slough

still, unmoving;

ripenening, fermenting under

the new summer’s sun.


I drive through there now.

I used to live there.

The Properties of Dust

Columbia Slough Pump Station Outflow - Columbia River, Gresham, Oregon. February 27, 2011 - www.aflitt.com

The Properties of Dust was a small book I put together in 2005 for a desktop publishing class at Portland State University. Many of these pieces were written specifically for the book project, and the rest date back to as early as 1990. The pieces were accompanied by a photo or two in the original book, but, in most cases, I am using different, more recent, photos with this series of posts.


1.

The Well

Moreh

Orienteering

Tides

The Properties of Dust


2.

Storm

Oncology

Upon the Ruin

Golgotha

Demolition


3.

Watching a Woman From Across the Room

Moonrise

First Snow

Antarctic Whispers

Lines

Bedtime Prayer


4.

The Red Car

Something Lost

Slough

Home

After the War


5.

Lair

Love Poems

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Bull Run Schoolyard - Bull Run, Oregon.  circ. 2005 - www.aflitt.com

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Rubble by A. F. Litt

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Slough