Story last updated at 3:01 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 2002

Bypass Road revisited
Dear Editor,

The other day while Al's busted femur was healing, I met Dr. Bill Bell in the hospital corridor.

"What do you think of the doings along the Bypass?" he asked. While I was trying to put my thoughts into words, he said, "Remember that poem you wrote when they cut down the trees to build the Bypass? You should write a sequel."

Although I don't always obey doctor's orders, I thought best I do so this time:

"The Bypass Road" (Sept. 7, 1978)

They grind and howl and show their might

so sure that what they do is right.

The aged monarchs tremble, fall

Limbs tangled in a rubbish ball

The chainsaw, the dozer and man.

The dainty flowers join the mush

Crushed to pulp -- and blueberry brush

Moose browse, the bush where rabbits sleep

All become a rubbish heap

The backhoe, the dozer and man.

Land barons smile and rub their hands

The scar spread wide along their lands

Progress cannot spare the tree

Or quiet place for moose to be.

But some of us mourn.

And now the sequel:

"Along the Bypass" (written and edited by Al and Gail Sorensen)

Ancient gray monarchs -- limbs hurled all around

Smashed to the earth by the force that ground

Dragged through the mud, tossed in a pile

Snipped and stripped by growling machines

Stripped by machines and man.

But wait

Tiny beetles, larva larva. Beetles ground them down

Howling winds tornado wrath

Wild and howling snapped their limbs

Our Mother Nature struck them down.

I stand by the tombstones gray and dead.

I stand by the dead and grieve.

I remember the joy of knowing their prime

Remember Give thanks and the pain is gone.

I look to the East and there is the sky.

A stranger long-hidden by curtains of green.

I marvel as blue turns to gold turns to rose.

And rejoice at the birth of the dawn

I stand in the splendor of a rosy new day

Look up and give thanks

for the dozer the chainsaw and man.

Thanks, Bill, for asking me to write this poem.

Gail Sorensen