Cullowhee Creek, After Thunder
Cider Press Review, spring 2004
Dr. catherine Carter

Gold Horizontal Line





Force is measured in foot-pounds; force
jams the trout lily up
past gravel. It is force
against which the stride pulls
and fails, pulls
and fails, and the slow force
of burn which drives the stride
forward—the never-
resting never-ended work
of work. This flood:
the work of water over rock is met
by a white spate back, so strong
that the stream is hoarse with silt,
wicked with sticks, torn
earth, drowned worms. But it is not
wicked—the rough
caress which combs the long grass
like harsh hair—nor,
no matter what I call it, is it a touch,
though some touches are like it.
This flood is power,
the energy of the world
grinding away at the energy
of the world, the thing you feel
when what you want—
when all you want—
is work.


Dr. Catherine Carter
Director of English Education
421 Coulter Hall
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC 28723
(828) 227-3931