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A Pull-out by the Sespe
For years this stream ran clear.
I'd fi sh it alone, all day.
Then came the long drought. Now
we stand in the familiar
dirt pull-out, drinking coff ee.
When the off -and-on breeze hits,
two young cottonwoods begin stirring
on the near bank, half their branches
still green, the others yellow.
We watch their all-over shivery
hard twinkling leaves
throwing off fl akes and
sharp fl icks of light, at all
angles, continuously: all the while
the leaves send out their sounds
of running water, as if in recollection
of the stream they grew up by; which is
now silent -- dusty stones, weeds. Someone
has hung a jumbo empty
Frito bag carefully
on a bush on the far bank.