The road, a sweep of Route 29
driving north to Lambertville
loiters alongside the snaking Delaware
and the D&R towpath
past the shores of Washington’s crossing.
In winter, mutilated sycamores
ash and oak
hang over paved road
their arms, once mighty
by PSE&G, to expose charged wires
like muscular old longshoremen
bulky and stunted
leaning precariously, threatening motorists.
Gnarled roots buried in dirt
confined by a saw-toothed stone wall
surrounding nature’s ugly creatures
harnessing misshapen tendrils
that stretch across the highway
untamed like Medusa’s mythical locks.
Poison ivy is surely hidden
within this disfigured forest
exquisite in its grotesqueness
barren, weathered, wizened.
Yet, in spring arousal
rotted leaves yield to aromatic air
the Delaware caresses the shoreline
as new life emerges beneath the loam.
Wildflowers pop up
dot the landscape with bloodroot
blue violets and yellow flags.
A jade and emerald canopy grazes the dormant limbs that rise
like twisted old men waking from a winter’s sleep
ignored by the supple woodland nymphs.
Jo Sutera lives in Hamilton and belongs to several writing groups in Princeton.