Tired limbs are dragged through the new spring grass forging the crest of the dyke; the creek is already lower than after last year’s thaw. We comment its difference as if it tells some new meaning to life. The air comes up cooler by the rocks, tightens our skins in a pleasant way, giving the impending end to this walk a heaviness, an ill-fitting cap to the day. We share a trust, she and I, as her tiny hand fits into my bigger one, to lead her to places of safety; the ease of her doing this bends me round the heart in this hushed moment. Feet move down the embankment in measured steps laced with hesitation, until level ground is felt. We speak of adventures and the risk of unknown paths taken in haste, but more so, of the risks incurred for not. A verdant trail snakes gently through hordes of dried grasses and skeletons of Queen Anne’s lace with heads tilted and dethroned; carcasses of milkweed with pods half-cracked reveal pristine fluff with seeds, loosely attached. And there is more than wonder written on her face as I send creamy tuffs through the air, floating precariously on wet wings; her stray flaxen curls bounce in the chase, sun-reddened arms reach to catch fairies in mid flight. My gaze strays to the small, bare tree. Perched head high, the red- winged blackbird speaks, cocks his head east and west, leaving one shiny eye in my direction before launching into the dying light. Above, the moon hangs loosely in her three-quarter dressing gown, makes eyes at the sun across the way; the sky more tropical than oceans with hills red fired behind, and we stop to look. Her head rests against my ribs with an arm wrapped round, fingers lightly digging into my hip, and both of us breathing it in. I stretch my free hand out to the side, waiting for yours to slip in it, making a connection between us, somehow putting a circle together and filling it in with more than could be expected while crowning it with a smile above our heads.
Aleathia Drehmer 2008
Published by Kendra Steiner Editions 5/08