Two poems by Morgan Golladay

Old Tools

When I loaded the tools

into the back of the car,

the shovels’ polished handles

and sharpened blades,

the rakes, splayed with caught branches,

tines broken,

spading forks, long and short-handled,

(yours was the long one),

I did not grieve.

Even at the unloading,

the receiver would have no idea

of the cords of wood split and stacked.

These were simply tools, mauls, axes, wedges,

not symbols of someone’s life.

I think about my grandfather, the blacksmith,

how, at the final sale and dispersal

by the executor and auctioneer,

no one there could fathom the finality of

the life, the skill, the personality

radiating from his tools.

River Run

I stand in the ford,

gravel quiet beneath my feet,

water surging around my shins.

Over the centuries

the river run has worn the rocks

smooth, removing imperfections,

softening edges, creating forms.

Just behind the larger boulders,

the water turns milky, then clear,

losing its pearlescence as it returns to itself.

Afternoon light sparkles brightly

as waters surge