Pounding Stone in the River Gorge

BEFORE THE DAM

We take a trail that snakes through jeweled grasses
To an ancient village site down by the river.
We brush lips as swallows rise and fall,
Looping and returning. A shadow flows
Through brilliant leaves and merges on bare arms.
We sprawl in the shallow pit
Near a pounding stone with empty mortars,
Like eyeless sockets staring at the river--
Before the gorge is drowned....
The last eagles glide over and spiral high,
Roots pulling tribes up from the soil,
High into branches--to flow in an ocean
Of breath--before the dam is built.

Take the next trail.
Open a strange door.
Take a different trail by a river.