The Valley

Having finished the muffin, 
the coffee, the tea, and the fruit
that Helen had arranged for me on the table
before she drew herself a bath,
I hopped on her heavy-set bicycle 
and set out towards the canyon. 
My shirt collar flapped like the wing of a frantic bird
against my shoulder all the way along the creek. 
There is a woman who lives at the mouth of the canyon
whom they call the hummingbird whisperer. 
The birds come in droves to rest on her hands. 
I spotted one flitting up and down in the shade. 
The sun had claimed the bodies of a snake,
a dragonfly, and a moth along the edge of my path. 
I wanted to preserve the way the air smelled,
to seal the sagebrush wind in a little jar
and pack it home in my suitcase. 
I took several desperate breaths to savor
for the ride back down the hill. 
In town, I sent half a dozen peacocks
scattering into a flower bed. 
I found Helen in the kitchen spreading butter
and pickles on honeyed bread,
and three dogs licking her feet
and wriggling in anticipation 
of things to come. 


One thought on “The Valley

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s