Twenty-First Century Field Trip [From BA 43-500]

Elliot Matson Best of Boneshaker

Twenty-First Century Field Frip



For Jeremy


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

Evan P. Schneider