Kayak

quiet water

eagles in the tree

herons lurch into flight, dragging

their long legs behind

kingfishers swoop low over the water

mats of olive-brown weed tangle my paddle

lap and slap of water on my bow

dribbles of weed-smelling water soak my jeans

slipping through the marshy islets

a brown water snake whips past me

turtles as big as pot lids sun on a log —

how close can we get?

sunshine casts diamond sparkles on the water

clouds turn it steel gray

we slip among the trunks of long dead trees

what is underneath us?

an old farm, flooded?

a little town, forgotten?

we drift across the surface

as if we’re traveling across the sky

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