On the Crooked Fork

Beneath a cedar canopy,
the Maidenhair fern part
a slightly humid shade into wedges.
The Trillium, like vagabonds
with snowy petaled heads
are edges where waxy hearts
of wild ginger spread.
Blossomed Shooting Stars
twist in shapes of amethyst,
ignite at will against
a galaxy of chlorophyll,

on the Crooked Fork.
We saw the prehistoric looking
Sculpins where currents tremble,
lulled in turquoise-clean,
were poised above the Lima-bean
shaped pebbles.
We resembled a wishbone,
watching prone and stretching,
cupped hands magnified, submerged.
Side by side, on the verge
of catching
the shy creature and

we panned for gold and thought
we found a fleck, then made up names
for other fish, juggled speculations,
talked of filing claims,
struggled, smiling through a tiff.
We stayed until the evening breeze
spilled out freely in the trees;
banking off their bark.
Then a thrush in bursting keys
sang chiaroscuro’s last trapeze
and rang the Crooked Fork.

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