April 2, Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Rowena, Oregon
The wild grass widows have gone where widows go
but three kinds of parsley are in bloom
and the tight buds of balsamroot are showing yellow
ready to open.
Wind carries me
to the cliff edge, one hundred twenty feet above the Columbia
where men and teen aged boys have fallen
and the bones of deer remain where coyotes have arranged them.
I look across the Columbia at the little railroad town of Lyle.
A mass of river gull at the mouth of the Klicitat
wait for spring chinook turning north, following the scent
of their mother’s blood.
To the west, over Rowena Creek, a pear orchard is in bloom.
If I should fall and not be able to fly
my last thoughts are flowers.