Flooded stream.

You want to talk about gardening
whereas I want to talk about how close
the creeks & rivers are to overflowing,
the Elk we passed miles back
already licking lower woodlands, &
this tributary we’re paralleling—
Big Sandy Creek, I think—
a foot higher than the road,
kept in place by a bank
that’s maybe one foot higher still.

You’re telling me about digging holes,
while I want to scream what a hole we’re in
if we don’t make it to the highway soon.
It’s life & death, the difference between us.
You’re planning new growth for the future.
I’m running from what kills us now.

As a child, I had recurring dreams
of tsunami waves thundering
toward the car my father drove,
always another whichever way he turned.

I never drowned. That’s the lesson
for today: survive what’s coming,
then tomorrow you can harvest carrots
the color of lemonade &
squash the size of a newborn
still too naïve to fear the world.

Photo by Hefin Owen, used and adapted under CC.