Wednesday, October 15, 2014


artwork: ralph murre

by Richard Purinton

A laden scow slides in sloppy chop,
Pushed by a red tug.
Its black, smoking stack
Mirrors the propeller’s spin.
Muck and rock, hard pan bottom,
Crane swing, one scoop at a time.
Scow to truck, scow to truck, truck to dump site,
Muck trucked to landfill.

Rolling, snorting through intersections,
Horns blatting, diesels braking,
Dopplers released from the far sides of hills.
Then, engines rumble idly as the
Slippery spoils slide and stones scrape
From steel box to the waiting pit below.
A dirty earth jello.

Now night. Scow light.
The same red tug pushes
An empty scow away,
Engine loafing, not huffing.
Second shift will dig, dredge, tow,
Truck and dump.
Dig, dredge, tow, truck and dump.

 ~ previously published in Poem, Prose & Image (Island Bayou Press)