Would-be Haibun

When the Mississippi Flowed Backward

I began where rock turns the purpose of a river from just going downhill to destroying opposition. After time beyond all comprehension, with both losing and both winning, the river found black gumbo mud and made itself a home. They say when the earthquake came the church bells rang in Philadelphia. The Mississippi flowed northward for days, the guide says,
sweeping his binoculars toward the levee. When it turned back, it settled into a new bed, and left this oxbow lake cut off from the flow. If the bald cypress trees standing in the water were the same ones drowned by the flood, they are two hundred years old. The shaggy eagle nest I see in one nearby might be from last spring, or before the end of DDT. There’s a small plane landing near the golf course, but no eagles today. We rent a stump-jumper tomorrow.

Fox-red cypress leaves
The path might be rust or blood
I’m following crows



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