Stone head

Steven Swank
Featured image: Slide © A. Anupama 2017

As the truck driver navigates a tight curve
over the mountain pass, rear wheels
abruptly drop off the pavement.

The forty-foot stone head of the governor
being transported to a ceremonial site
breaks loose when the trailer overturns.

Lurching inertia snaps chains,
hurls the head across the road,
then plummeting down the palisade.

In tumbling, crushing descent
with all the noise and bluster
of its destructive namesake,

it gouges the landscape,
smashes through trees,
plunges off the cliff face,

in declamatory freefall
hits the water
in a terminal splash.

Without comment,
the river flows around it,
fish swim in the eddy.