Rachel Dacus

Drake's Estero, Point Reyes

Poem by Rachel Dacus

Today, pines teal the skyline
and red-tailed hawks swoop from dense stands.
Finches rubble the quiet. At low tide,
in golden light, all seems to rest
until you do and eyes sharpen
on water's edge, a roiling topography
where dowitch and sandpiper heads bob
like sewing machine needles. All things
not as they seem. A startling rush overhead,
and birds light to peck and poke
like a studious class. Under the bridge
glides a bufflehead duck, Buddha on glass.
We hold still, pretend to be bridge posts
while his big, soft eye forgives
our ruse. The black wings beat four times,
to hold him up while his beak scissors a crab.
Two gulps, then flanged feathers refold.
Again, the smooth ballet.

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Langston Hughes


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, July 27, 2005