Able Bodied Assistant ©Christian Knoeller, 2010

To build this mill Adams divined
how gravity would have its way
with water between these hills

hiked fifty miles of Wildcat Creek
to find the right hollow, imagined
a dam upstream of the oxbow

to drive the turbine and huge
grindstones enshrined today
by the roadside.  Water

surges down the raceway
in the wake of August rains
with the same force that turned

half the county’s corn to flour
for a hundred summers.
The mill’s a self-proclaimed

Museum of Americana now,
four stories of wooden hayforks
and rakes, great blades

that harvest only nostalgia
these days. The river sluices
through the foundation fifty

feet below powering
wooden wheels with nothing
left to grind.

©Christian Knoeller, 2010

Christian Knoeller reports that spring has at last come to the Heartland, apparently to stay this time, and that he has just planted 500 daffodil and iris bulbs to commemorate the occasion.  This winter has been noteworthy for the especially bold Coyotes patrolling his wooded homestead on Deer Creek, to which the beloved beagle, Barkley, and retriever mix, Yuki, have given fearless chase.  He will be giving a reading of creative work from his “Feral Grace” manuscript and a paper, “Ancient Traces: Indian Figures in the Poetry of William Stafford” at the Annual Conference of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature at Michigan State University in May.

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