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a poem by
Jennifer Lagier
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Garzas Creek

Wet trillium erupts from maidenhair thickets.
Just around a green bend,
an old buckeye sheds like a snake,
dangles bark rags,
outgrows its gray britches,

We ascend a stony ridge sprinkled with
shooting stars, shoals of corn lilies.
Busy-body birds chatter forest gossip,
flit from oak to pine,
pause for breath among droopy cypress.

As the trail kinks and climbs,
we admire distant meadows,
a shocking exclamation, red manzanita.
Spring and suspended animation intersect;
spill a hot surge of golden poppies.

An owl croons and cajoles, leads us
to a dead end of abrupt rapids and impromptu pools
where fat salamanders shimmy across pale sand,
find cool relief in secretive shadows.

Water arpeggios carve tracts of defeated ferns
and broken granite into loose sonnets,
accompany us far beyond its a cappella song,
onto plateaus of distorted oaks
beneath blue sky ventanas.

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