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——–—for Spencer Reese

Then one day I
went for a walk.

Walked down to the
kingfisher creek.

It had been two
years, maybe more—

down I counted
the many steps

past the wood duck
ponds. Late April.

The spring peepers

crucifer cru-
cifer—from moss

logs and willow
mulch, from cattails

low and high all
around these trees.

Their brown song rose
and fell in little

gasps. Sycamore.
Sassafras. While

a goldfinch pulled
a slender thread

there, height to height.
There is no more

story to tell—
except I had

not died. And
one sound I heard,

along the small
wing of creek, I

still cannot name.
I seldom speak

of such things, though
I’d come so far

to hear it there.
Was it my soul?

What do I know?
The sound the wind

made, deep in those
trees. Cottonwood.

Birch. And the leaves
utterly still.



David Baker’s latest book of poems is Whale Fall (Norton). He lives in Granville, Ohio.




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