thought it thunder
in the middle of the night.
of falling sandstone will awake
will break at last, will fall in time.
the underdress of water and wind
No rest again
for anyone in Devil’s Garden
or ducking down.
Wall Arch bore no signs of stress
like the crack
in Broken Arch.
Nor was it thin like Landscape’s stretch.
Just a Monday
like any other.
The sun had set. The bats at play.
No star later
said they saw
the moment when the Arch gave way.
Some time during the night of August 4, 2008, Wall Arch suddenly collapsed along the popular Devil's Garden Trail in Arches National Park. Wall Arch was the 12th largest sandstone arch formation in the park at the time. Later inspection showed microscopic cracks in the structure, but to the eye there was no sign of imminent collapse.
This poem is part of a series of poems reflecting on the nature of becoming, using famous sandstone structures in Arches National Park as the foil. The Collapse of Wall Arch reminds us of the uncomfortable but unavoidable truth that failure is an essential feature of the process of becoming. I would add that it is usually (and ironically) our failures more than our successes that more dramatically contribute to our transformation toward wholeness.