The driftwood floats down Truman Reservoir.
Past my hometown here in Osceola
Just the same as it did in an earlier age
When the reservoir was a river called Osage.
Birds sometimes ride the floating trees.
It would be great to be one of these.
Are they going to follow their dreams?
Man dominates nature says the Book
Not true; go and take a closer look.
Reservoir was built for economic boom
Now it looks more like the town’s doom.
Where does all the drift wash in?
Water flooding over close by land.
The Osage River is still right there
Running through the reservoir’s lair.
What was gained, what was lost?
Consider all from large to least.
Where did crawdads and darters go
Minnows, frogs, and swimming holes?
Reservoir’s boosters vision unrealized
Promised benefits never materialized
The Osage River is still out there
Its home changed beyond repair.
Author: Walter Birdwell
Born in Missouri in 1942, Walter Birdwell graduated from the University of Missouri in 1964 with a BA in creative writing. Immediately enlisted in the US army to avoid the draft and was in the US army from 1964 to 1967. Married Yolanda Garza a month after discharge from the Army and have been married forty-five years. Walter is a progressive political activist and has been for about fifty years and a follower of Pagan religious tradition for about twenty years. Have previously published newspaper articles in The Southern Patriot and the New York City Guardian newspapers (both defunct progressive newspapers) in the 1970s and have recently published articles in The Missouri Chigger, an Ozark area magazine, and the Brownsville Herald. Enjoys writing, sculpture, hunting, fishing, hiking, birdwatching, reading, traveling, and all outdoor activities.