if you go down to the great river

if you go down to the great river
and bend your ear to the cypress, the egret
the little whirlpools swirling algae and syringes
you will learn the danger of listening

for the mud and the frogs speak
the same secrets as the lightning
the old oaks too; it is all the gossip of the groves
even the kudzu knows

go and listen on the asphalt landscape
hear the hollow ringing of the aquifers
the locusts gather and the last bees hum
all the news is nervous as a storm

and be warned–
for the truth will make you strange
and a stranger


Bonny McDonald

used with permission of the poet

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