Along the road that leads north out of town
There stands an old mill, a decrepit thing.
At one time in the past, our city’s spring,
It churned out gravel. Now one looks around
The site where weather-wearied slats combine
To form bent walls and lurching towers bound
To make one think it begs to be torn down,
And wonder at its dying on the vine.
Without the mill, our town would not have risen,
But one day found its life elsewise sustained.
Some workers went to staff the nearby prison.
Others found jobs in skyscrapers glass-paned.
Gravel remains a product of much use.
But such our mill will nevermore produce.
Clouds at Dawn
The sky is an aquarium today.
The denizens of this inverted deep,
Some big as whales, others quite small,
loom, heavy late-night tokens all.
Gliding lethargically ahead,
They await the first dim rays of dawn.
Mimicking fish admirers like to keep,
Each separate stays. They look asleep.
These early morning clouds, a school
So calm, prophesy scant rainfall,
Although their cast is charcoal gray
That swim this strangely situated bay.
There’s little chance they’ll sprinkle any lawn,
Even—much less refill the shallowest pool
Beside a drying flower bed
The heated air has left for dead.
They merely haunt the sky, a phantom jewel
To be within an hour gone.
Julian D. Woodruff divides his time between western New York State and Toronto, writing short fiction and poetry, much of it for children. His work is most recently represented in WestWard Quarterly and on the websites of Aphelion Webzine and The Society of Classical Poets.