Along Deer Creek

She remembers the dream, or part of it
while walking her daily walk
three miles of quiet time, she only
alone past Peterson’s dump
yards of metal heaps
rusting cars and trucks and
she is past it in thirty-six steps
breathing hard climbing up to where
the Hunt place stands hidden beneath
a fraternity of crooked oaks
her sneakers crunching rocks
pushing dirt into the wind as she
moves past Calvin’s tiny house
a yellow Ford, 1962
stranded in time and garage.

She walks beyond straggly strands of
Manzanita leaves, tiny round tiddlywinks;
she sees the possum and the pigeon
possum and pigeon both
flat, flattened, flatter
than an envelope, a green leaf.

The pigeon on her right
feathers splayed colorlessly
gray and white and gray and white, the head
sideways one eye up, a bottom-feeder.
A flounder on the tarmac.

The possum on her left, arms stilled
in the midst of reaching forward
stopped in mid-lunge, chin crushed
into the gravel, fur
a dance floor for maggots.

She stops at the cliff’s edge, sees the creek
below, wild blue-gray water rumbling like
freeway traffic orbiting a city. She revels
in the noise and its meaning,creek2
earth atoms hydrogen oxygen sticks and stones
pushed yonder, unidirectional unstoppable, the force,
gravity, the weight of yesterday’s ice
and snow and rain, now in charge of
its own effects.

A fragment of the dream a chunk
from a worn boulder falls and before
it tumbles more she pockets it
and walks on.

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