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Spring/Summer 2021

Bonne Terre Mine

Richard Stimac

Missouri hides its truth in two extremes.
You can see, down the blue State Highway K,
Past where the land proceeds to shift from clay
To rock, near Bonne Terre, with its active seams
Of surface-stripped lead, roaring monstrous teams
Of earthmovers that scrape, day after day,
The overburden laid above the gray
Ore veins. The spoilage dumps in crystal streams
That snake past dogwood, willow, elm, and ash,
Then weep down walls of dissolved limestone caves,
Or, merged with rivers, discharge in the sea.
This refined land, its beauty and its trash,
All we love, and debase, sinks in these waves.
Yes, we sink, too, and figure ourselves free.

[Check out Richard Stimac's back porch advice]