Saturday, July 25, 2020

John Zedolik writes

Private Service 

Anyone could be back here
on the dubious trail beside
the tracks and under the blind 

grip of clasping branches
that yield a private cathedral
of considerable length to any

worshipping in these bottom
lands in their own schismatic
way, river and rail gods girding 

the trace, but, one hopes, not
answering shady prayers for plunder,
pain to travelers, or blood, a stray-lamb 

sacrifice to private demons sans merci
in this tenebrous track leading
to scarred concrete and links 

barring entrance to the mill’s hulking
bones where hellish fires once
threatened without respite even 

the hardened worker, now dead,
or safer than the one on the mud-ruts
and crab grass during a Sunday morning 

under discarded leaves and shadows,
accompanied by only industry’s ghosts,
benign, unlike some current walkers, 

encased in calloused flesh, waiting with steel.

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