magpie valley summer

i bent down by the river and cupped water to cool my face and hair. the summer was hot as ever and not letting up. you flew down and hopped over to me, where i could admire you in the half-light. little magpie of the valley, what have you seen and where have you been? your tail feathers long and dark, of blue and purple hue, your legs like twigs and feet splayed. cocking your head to one side so i can meet your parrot eye. what can i do for you, brave bird?

you told me of the coyotes and their dens above the levee, and how they walk the rails to get from town to town. you told me of the river and how it made its way. you told me of your kind, long gone from here…and yet, you stay? there is an old man comes from the city to see you, he cracks a beer and lies down with a jacket rolled up under his head. you look after him. he speaks to you in a calm and gentle tone. you climb upon his shoulder where he takes selfies with you. then feeds you shavings of turkey and ham…dear magpie, i am hot and tired and wish to rest for a while. what more do you know? would you share with the likes of me?

fluffy white towels the kind you find in only the finest hotels

When all the bridges have been burned and all congeniality has been lost, looking at the river you will not feel the same as before, wondering how to cross it alone, wandering, then discover you can swim if you start by floating on your back, belly up,  staring up at the sky, even with horizon with the dying. You must continue on to farther shore, for there i await you, my child, with an oversized fluffy white towel the kind you find in only the finest hotels, to wrap around your dear self, and as you drip dry i will say nothing, just clasp my arms around your neck and lean into you so you can feel your strength and the beating of my heart with yours, in the valley, verdant of all that arise by the sun, solitary, captivated by the life.