Journal of Writing & Environment

One item of news crept out of your palm—


the most authentic details still open,

like the beginning of a dance


with its little figures running

shapeless, flattened, and hideous.


You forgot your pen

and your good temper in uniform—


the morning you went down to the river

a white crane rose behind the ambush.


The beat of propellers lifted your eyes—

You saw a barefoot child becoming


no longer alive, her long river leaving.

Even colors couldn’t maintain


their own languages—tongue-tied,

the magic sound of the stream,


the invisible wet engine utterly homesick

and racing in you.


You ran up the new blacktop road

that encircled the overlook—


it was there you left your helmet

it was there you lost your fight.