Swallows swirl in and out
of the tower of a ruined castle
overhung with gray storm clouds
high on the hillside. Mauve
and green patches of a quilted
vineyard roll up and down the hill.
The sandstone buildings in the village
in the valley prevent the hillside
from sliding into the pale blue
Main in the foreground. The spire
of the Romanesque church soars
back up toward the castle.
Almost at the edge of the scene,
a steamboat churning westward
toward the invisible Rhine billows
black smoke into the evening air.
Standing like uneasy emigrants,
hands clasped on the railing,
passengers peer back at the fading
village. On this side of the river,
darkness begins to fall like fine
rain upon an abandoned foot path.
Copyright Time Being Press, reprinted with permission