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October 2018, vol 14 no 3

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Renée Owen

To Know a Place

On the cusp of summer, tall grass already golden in the unseasonable heat. Everything else, lush and green after winter’s rain, the river running fast. A large cobblebar of rocks flattens here and there into pebbles and sand. Stagnant pools linger, where skeeters walk on water and bulbous bodies of tadpoles dart about. At the water’s edge, the tiny dried out husk of a larval casing, intact except for a hole on top. Next to it, a motionless dragonfly, head iridescent vermilion, wings folded in a quiver. The wind, or my shadow, shifts him into motion. For a moment he hovers, then lifts off into life or death. I collect the shell of the skin he left behind and carry it home. A reminder of miracles. And my own sometimes reckless need to know.

river canyon
nothing but smoke
over the ridgeline