...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.