High waters come on all topsy-turvy
meagre creeks suddenly made mighty
leaving their narrow shelters
to shimmer like sequins in the weak March sun
with all the chintzy pageantry of making up for lost time
like the fool crowned with gauds as King of Christmas.
The swell, blind and eager,
ties tallgrass tinsel to the first boughs it can reach
and won’t wait to crest before placing the topper,
hurrying to put its star,
a bike wheel with the rusty, muddled half-shine
of the evening star through murky dusk,
only halfway up.
The decoration struggles to glow against
the redbud’s dark, salamander-damp bark
that’s freckling pink like a negative tan
brought on by such an overcast season.