Swirling shallows rush indignantly past the dam and
then drop 800 hundred feet to the gorge below.
A sizzling bolt scars the indigo of the nocturnal desert sky.
It strikes, then topples the ancient and contorted fir-tree
(“Old Man” he is called by the Ones who live here)
into the boundless and unforgiving chute.
His broken limbs are first gathered up then flounced away.
Bursting and dancing,
he is swept through the thundering canyon,
riding through on the river’s back to his next world.
This awesome sign causes the Ones who live here to pause
with their hoops ‘round their shoulders