wind gusting, warm sun

on her shoulders,

wiggling toes digging into sand,

she watches the rocky

mouth of the Rattlesnake

kiss the cheek of the Clark Fork River.

stonefly skeletons,

high-water knots of weeds

hang in the short willows beside her.

cottonwoods sprawl green

against an azure sky

while the poet writes,

light glistening off her earrings

and necklace—midday aurora borealis.

she smiles, a shawl wrapped around her head.

water roars from the spillway

behind her.  a robin calls,

a sparrow flits overhead,

she brushes a raven feather

across her lips—smells July,

the river’s breath.  red

umbrellas burn in front of a yellow

bed & breakfast.  hot sun

drives her into the shadows

where a cool breeze skips downstream,

refreshing as wayward clouds

that briefly shade the heat.

the poet imagines rain turning

to hail on the banks of the Nile—sharing

a latte with her lover

at some French café

across the bay from the Italian Riviera—

another sweet summer day:  swimming

at the confluence of her dreams.


—for Sheryl Noethe

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