Maquoqeta

Maquoqeta

A Poem by hanford zdeb

kingbird attacks
bird bigger than itself.
red tail worrys
and hides in trees
overlooking river,
And a deserted military base.

deteriorated wing dam and pylon
where barges stopped
deposited war material
for this chemical scarred radiation sick place.
lately decommissioned,
discarded, old warrior,
sleeping on the banks
of the mississippi.

host now to deer and vulture
oriole and dicksissel and trespasser
i come to make photographs.
of old soldier tasks
and find melted glass lumps still
embedded in trees

silence tends rotted foundations
decades old smells and sounds
of ten thousand men living here
feeding our fathers' living war
machine.

in quonset hut rows
i walk among movie theater
rec hall,
chapel where an altar once stood
and soldiers prayed while building bombs
to answer japanese anger.

nothing now but wind and weed,
and fishing boats at the mouth of the 
maquoketa river
opposite this dead land.

the small river is lovely where it
meets the mississippi 
tangle tree and root snag 
and catfish

the war is over
the soldiers gone,
dust.
the munitions atomized
over a hundred battlefields
from normandy to diem ben phu.

i and the hawk
hide in the trees
from the burning afternoon sun
and the angry kingbird.
 
watching men fish on the iowa side
in the lovely waters of the
maquoketa.

© 2022 hanford zdeb


Author's Note

hanford zdeb
Maquoketa translated from Sauk first nation: “there are bears here” / tributary of mississippi.

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Added on July 31, 2022
Last Updated on August 2, 2022

Author

hanford zdeb
hanford zdeb

Fly over country, IL



About
Old man. Still curious, still amazed. more..

Writing