on her shoulders,
wiggling toes digging into sand,
she watches the rocky
mouth of the Rattlesnake
kiss the cheek of the Clark Fork River.
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