Wednesday, 31 of August of 2016

Dennis Fritzinger – Everyone Stares

From Seattle Times: “The big surprise was how fast the river and lake changed once contractors detonated 800 pounds of TNT, blowing out a drain tunnel drilled into the base of the dam. PacifiCorp, which owns Condit, had projected the reservoir behind the dam, Northwestern Lake, would drain within six hours.

But within an hour and a half, the river had already settled into its channel and was flowing freely through the tunnel, said Tom Hickey, senior engineer, hydro resources for PacifiCorp. “We knew it was a range,” he said of the six hour estimate for draining the reservoir. And clearly, the river was in a hurry.”

the dam
is a giant wall
against which
the river
leans and leans,
to flow downhill
at gravity’s urge,
and wind up in
a lake, a sea, the ocean.
the wall
says “no you don’t”,
the wall says
“halt! you’re under arrest!”

and so the river
stops, and all things
also stop,
in the journey
they set out on,
the ticket they bought
at the ticket gate
only half good,
their luggage lost,
their children missing,

as the bright lights
continue to burn
and the tv monitors
exude their unearthly
as the speakers play
the latest incomprehensible
songs of the younger
as old coffee machines
continue to perk,
and the sandwiches
continue to appear
in the check-out line,
as fellow travelers
roll by
with suitcases on wheels,
g.i. haircuts,
and bags of Christmas presents,
everyone stares
at the concrete solidity
that’s stopping their progress.

everyone stares
at the dam.

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