The boy picks Wapato in the marsh
Just the top stems, not the tubers.
He doesn’t see me standing
In the mud, watching.
I follow him with quiet eyes
Walk through the marsh.
As if he’s searching for a vase.
There’s a humid wind
Ruffling all plants around us
Including the ones in his hand.
Near us are shy egrets
With their long necks, poking
Among a dried-out lake bed.
They’re not overly timid.
They’ve seen us, hear us
Have no concern
Over flowers or watchers.
As I move, the mud is loud
Echoing off trees, off the sky.
Off of all the moments we are taking.
He disappears behind a cottonwood
And the play of clouds and sun.
My pant legs are caked with soil.
The egrets stick to their search
Of the wet marshland grass.
A small patter of rain hits leaves, branches.
We change again.
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