Hiking the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge
Rustlings lead us on deep into salt marsh grasses
under a patch of clouds spreading like stain on silk.
Your Hush! halts us. Your kiss
raises the same underskin shiver in me:
Is someone coming into rapture
or is someone being left behind?
Our eyes meet, willing to be on our way again,
unwilling to let whatever is luring us get away.
We’re pulled down paths of spiky plumes by the bristle
of reeds shaking autumn purples—when
a doe, jug-eared as a child, peers around a white pine. Her eyes,
unscathed and fluid, her glance is a delirious sap sticking to us
so the tongue swells at the thought of speaking.
As expected, the white shag tail, unexpectedly disappears.
Spartina grass waves sword points around the creek
whose currents have cut a wound into the bank’s side.
Drizzle starts to sting.
It will be cold, the going back.
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