Forces of Nature

Down by the train-tracks, I found
an arrowhead. Triangular shaped, its body
speckled like a sparrow egg. And small
in the palm of my hand as my fist
folded over completely.

My father worked for the railroad. Rock Island
before it became the Southern Pacific.
He brought us flattened quarters he set on the tracks
to show us how heavy a train could be, what weight
could do if you harnessed it.

In the dark, trainwhistles called
like coyotes, one steel animal to another.
What they were saying: this is the sound
of weight, of damage.

When I showed my father the arrowhead,
he rubbed the sharp edges between his fingers,
pointed out the irregular chips on its surface.
Imagine, he said, stone against stone,
the force of a man against nature.

1 comment:

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...


Great ending.

Kudos for "arrowhead ... sparrow egg". :)