Three Poems by Carson Colenbaugh
A Witness Tree
Above Tamassee Town
Beech Bottom Creek Almanac
One bridge hung beneath an engorged cover of laurel
by the old roadbed, the land owned, hunted, skinned
for three generations now. We snuck in through the brush,
headed off-path, downslope, over those rotten boards,
across that threshold, and came into bare mounds
made of clay-packed earth and dozer berms: a plush, raw place
for our quilt blanket. I rolled up my sleeves and felt
through cracks in the shallow creekbed for smooth clams,
polished chert and rose quartz, the silm of strange fish.
You sat and watched, and smiled. The wild hogs ignored us.
We laid back on our blanket, looked between the treetop
slits of the canopy, reached around for stones, for skin,
pawed at each other, at ourselves, talked of tomorrow:
“I like Robin, Andreas. Peter or Aster.”
“I got a cousin named Wren. I suppose we could just wait and see.”
Though every name may go unborn: our stale dreams
lost to space, time, my plastic infertility,
the stupid chances we take on next year’s weather.