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December 2009, vol 5 no 4

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Amy Whitcomb

 

At dusk, I walked over Albany Hill

At dusk I walked over Albany Hill and lay face up on a rotting log in a clearing. I hiked there without expectations, just to see what was in bloom. The highway was below, being incessant. Above, a layer of golden sky hung under a creamy grey-purple blanket, and one star filled a crook in the branches of a young eucalyptus. I was waiting for a breeze.

The owl came to me. It passed alongside my prostrate body and perched on a branch about twenty feet away. It had a brown and white spotted breast and looked impossibly soft. I sat up and hugged my knees to my chest. I said, Hello. The owl watched me move, wrapped its head around, hooted once, then swooped away. It landed across the trail. Darkness took the owl’s shape and hid the lines between branch and bird.

poppy sun
your childhood shadow
rolls out of sight

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