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in the terrifi c fi xity of its achieved exertions.
Still there is a certain casualness in
its leaning into open space, and
in its reach for air and light up here
there's eagerness not anguish. You see it
in the jaunty half-twirl of
the barkless twig at the top.
2. for the aspens and cottonwoods
up on big pine creek
Just the one branch lifts,
hesitates, and subsides
in small splashings of light.
Half-waking in hemlock shade
he lies listening, eyes still shut:
is it the voice of a young woman
that he hears upstream? But it goes on
earnestly, eagerly, the tones
explanatory, never pausing
for a breath, never varying
in volume: they are water-sounds.
He opens his eyes and sees
three aspens full of light,
one of them against the dark
of an old pine, all three quiet
at the moment. Onset of boredom
both with the sounds of the creek
upstream and the aspens alike
involuntarily declaring themselves.
A faint breeze that hasn't yet
reached him strikes the trees, making
a kind of silent clinking