Today's poem is by Leslie Noyes Harrison

The Park Interpreter Speaks

The glaciers carved this valley so long ago
that all the world was ice. Glaciers, you know,
are like glass, a liquid so patient, so slow

that even the rocks are changed by their touch.
It's all a question of force: you dam so much
water and the weight will swallow each

yesterday of land, the places we thought
would last. But no matter how much weight,
how huge the volume, the skyscraper height

of billions of gallons—still far, far
underneath, that same old river
still flows, its banks still littered

with picnic trash and kisses, and marked
by hooves where the milk cows came to drink.
The state's divers can see, I like to think,

as they enter the drowned river, the imprint
of blankets and baskets, elbows and hips,
dents where fishing poles leaned, and the forked sticks.

Copyright © 2003 Leslie Noyes Harrison All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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