Twenty-First Century Field Trip [From BA 43-500]
If I could
I would stretch this morning to eternity—
here, in my windowsill cocoon,
five stories up
insulated from the biting cold
looking down on the winding Mississippi
its goosebump surface shimmering beneath
a brilliant sun
inside the bright, clear, brittle bubble of fall.
From the left the freighter
rounding the sweeping curve
dominates the scene
as it steadily advances
like a giant relentless plow
through the rough granite plains of the Mississippi.
In the foreground
small turn-of-the-century clapboard houses
thrown up as haphazardly as tents
dot the landscape behind the levee.
In the distance
the once gleaming stacks of industry
proud harbingers of progress in the mid-fifties
jut upward like rotting stumps
inside a crystal dome.
To the far right
along the top of the levee
clad in sleek frogman outfits
a group of young bikers
skulls down for optimum aerodynamics
speed westward through the chilly ocean of air
like visitors from a fast, new century heading home.
Illustration by Elliot Matson