by Donna Emerson

I walk the narrow path beside Salmon Creek.
Pass the great egrets fishing at low tide,
only their toe tips covered by diminishing water.
Spy the human couple beyond the birds, turning their
paddles in the same direction, one behind
the other, one in a red kayak, one in a blue.

A flock of snowy plovers lands in the rushes
next to me. Their wing-spread flutter
causes a rushing of air, then a silent landing on stalks,
some green and living, some brown and stiff, while
the swaying canes make music, each note one
third above the next.

Such lovely clacking that I stop walking
and stand among them. Across from
the fully ripened blackberries, fragrant
wild sweet peas that wind upward, toward
the empty wooden houses above.