Photo by Elle Wonders – Spencer Island, Washington


What rises above me?

A floating silver orb trails a line of cottonwood trees, and a blue heron drifts solemnly through fog, his beating heart constant and rhythmic like a hand drum. Near the top of a tree, a cone shaped nest sits empty, aching, and abandoned.


What grows below me?

A meadow of flaxen grass grows up through parched, tangled weeds. Pools of clear, russet water rest next to flats of loam and mud where tiny footprints confirm early morning journeys. A wide brim of a hat and the ghostly scent of over-ripe gardens haunt the reclaimed earth.


What lies beside me?

A broken, hinged gate rests on its haunches keeping nothing inside the pickets of a fence. A weathered roof lies on the ground near an ancient gray tree, bare of branches. Rusted coils of copper lie in a decaying basket full of loss, and a starling in the brush chirps grandly about things of great importance, that no man will understand.


What moves inside me?

Lye, vinegar, and sorrow spill from shards of broken mason jars onto strips of faded linen. The rasp of passion drives away resentment, and I become the barn owl without a barn.