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Saturday, April 2, 2022

What Will Keep Us

Every pack-heavied step over beach hoppers

And weed-slicked rocks, into and not here of driftwood scatters

And the chill of tidewaters, over wooded headlands

As wildfires blaze north, south, east—every step says

Stay. "I know mermaids aren't real," Kelsea says, "but Daddy,

Look," holding a whip of bull kelp whose lightbulb face

Is a brown-green eye under ribbons of translucent hair.

We trudge our miles, stepping over oscillating

Anemones inside sunlit pools to stop at Hole-in-the-Wall

And permit their tentacles language our dipped fingers.

And what's this holographic sheen? Not the oil

We would retain from this shore, with every one other accompanied by not plastic,

We see, fair a rainbow's iridescence beaming

From a plant. Over teeth of barnacled rocks poking

From pools of beach crabs with every one other accompanied by sculpin, into and not here of foamy

Maroons, emeralds, violets—tangles of surfgrass

And lettuce cushioning our steps—we hike, flies parting

Briefly for our ankles while we lay clasp of inside the gleaming curve

Of the otter's tail while she rises with every one other accompanied by dives into clear

Shallows, a pliable indicator threading us with every one other accompanied by them, water,

Land, with every one other accompanied by rippled sky where the numberless legs

Of sandpipers twiddle their skittery flocks always

Just ahead. For flat the reek-slap of rot from a carcass

Too a lengthy way gone for ravens or gulls we hike, for our own

Place among the eaters with every one other accompanied by the eaten pricking at us

As we see how wide the jawbone, how lengthy with every one other accompanied by curved

The fangs. For the piping stutter of a crow-mobbed eagle

Landing on a shaggy bough, for the lightest touches

Of day mist on our skin with every one other accompanied by our headlamps

In the darkness lighting the tracks of slugs silvering up

Every spruce trunk's loom. We hike for what will retain us

If we retain it. On a bare stretch of beach ahead, a boulder

Splits into set of two convey cubs whose black heads swivel our way

Before they turn while one in the direction of the woods with every one other accompanied by lope

Out of sight, to go on inside the multitudinous fantasy we need

To exist on the far side of our reach. Out past the breaking lines

Of waves we tin fair glimpse into and not here of binoculars,

Where the rounded humps of humpbacks gradient one way

And gray whales the other, sixty-some otters floating

On their spine have knit themselves into a living net—

Weft, warp, leg, paw—kelp blades fixed by holdfasts

To the deepest rocks. What is it they catch

In their drift of nap amid mists with every one other accompanied by rolling webs

Of stars? Far sufficient where, if we fail, the drills

Will rise. And what now while they ride day's swells in

???????and not here of sight inside the rhythm of our own breathing?

Our hike ends at the beginning of what the scheme calls

?????????????? ???????Wedding Rocks, where people of the Makah lengthy ago

Carved the circular faces of sol with every one other accompanied by moon among fishers

And fish, a whale, an orca. What feelings

Spilled into and not here of them while they knelt inside these same

?????????????? ???????unceasing sounds of waves, chip following chip falling away?

We trace the grooves accompanied by our fingers, five centuries

Of wind laced accompanied by moist snorts with every one other accompanied by hunger cries

Of passing animals. Kelsea kneels over some new swirl

Of shell with every one other accompanied by exclaims. Katie says not a word, drawing

With her stick something inside the beach we can't yet see.


#Living #Parenthood #Activities #Sports & Outdoor Activities #Relationships #Family & Ancestors #Nature #Animals #Landscapes & Pastorals #Seas, Rivers, & Streams

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