Some things we believe cannot be redeemed.
But in a valley the Railroad finally forgot,
the silted, slugged ditch we would not eat fish from
runs again, a river, rilled as before
by clear water, not black. Grass grows back
between tracks and rails. Limestone spalls
hewn from the mountain heal into soil.
Stumps heaped with live coals, split, and winched out,
in spring frail a new circlet of green.
Panthers are seen. A son is born blue, and lives.
Some things we believe cannot be redeemed,
but the dawn, as yet, is diurnal. The woods keep
a hushed vigil, then rustle with life we can’t see;
small ponds well from the ground while we sleep.