Summit Creek

...or Crick...a very old poem that has never been published (until now). The picture is of Elk Creek, where I grew up, but the poem is about me falling into the creek at my grandparents' house when I was three years old. I'm told that my older cousins (all boys) watched me with great interest. My dad leapt out a window of the house and ran down to rescue me. (It wasn't deep.)


Aged three she makes her first murky foray,
toes nubile as minnows,
tease of the moss, come deeper, deeper.

She rides the creek's body
under the handhewn bridge, under
Tom Sawyer lines of brother and cousins, sober faces
at a curious fish.
Clouds, white feathers tickling
a sky seeping summer's deep colors,

blue going magenta, purple, silver
at the wings of its horizons.
Green leaves dapple
the water, shadows on stones.

Some days, still,
it's all water--blue
or cloud's milky gray. She moves
that slowly, upstream in memory,
a homing salmon, instinct

ticking inside her like a second heart.


  1. Whoa nelly! Hey Bethany, it's me, Kellan, from The Bloated Warbler! You're very good with this whole...poetry business. I never knew! Maybe that's because you never share these things with your classes >:(. But I loved both the poems you posted, so you are redeemed.

    PS: If you don't join my blog, it will serve no purpose!

  2. Way to go! I love "Merbaby" and the picture of the creek. Yes, in Missoula Montana we called the one by my house "The Crick" and many's the day I spent there with great joy.

    The photo and commentary are great help -- but I laready knew that the boys were watching curiously what an adult would see as an immediate danger. I was afraid the child might die. It's a wonderful poem.

  3. Okay, I'm trying to figure this out! But I'm glad you're here and thank you so much for commenting!


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