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Guest Poet Barb Powers

Ten Thousand Horses on a Wooden Bridge

Polite headlights stopped for a
perpendicular entry into the intersection.
One lane in; one lane out with
gator hitch hikers in the bar ditch.
Snakebirds hung like hunter's tropheys
on the fence; outstretched wings drying
after their underwater fish feast.

The one-laner spread into the parking lot
like water from the garden hose on cement.
Conversations were power surges
of technology and technique.
Virility in both.

A thirty-two story building, with
no floors and a non-stop elevator
that made your ears stop up;
stomach tried to keep up while
you looked through the glass, and watched;
Apollo: Greek god of light, poetry and music.

"Zero Defect" battle cry signs were posted
in buildings that had a horizon inside and
clouds around Apollo, and mapped locations
with color-coded walls.

Two volunteers took a twenty minute vacation
from the midnight deadline. They spent it at
the "Moon Hut" getting take-out orders, and took
everybody's identity at the time clock,
to meet government regulations for punching the cards.

We met the the midnight deadline and
everybody clocked out his own card,
and turned on polite headlights for
the trip on the one lane out.

It worked! Sound followed stage-one clouds
out of launch pad 39.
It struck the press/visitors stand first,
raced over the bayou; bending the grass.
Then it pounded over us like
ten thousand horses on a wooden bridge.
It silenced the power surge conversations,
except for "Go Baby Go!"
Apollo One was launched;
christened with tears of parents,
watching their kid give the best performance of his life.

April, 2002

Barb Powers's questions:

1. This is my very first try at free verse. Is is free verse, and if not; why?

2. Is the meaning of the poem clear and understandable?

3. Did each verse relate to the following one and the poem as a whole?

Thank you.

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