May 05

Canyon


We walk together again through Coyote Gulch,
sisters, side by side,
seven years of separation since our last excursion. 
The water is so shallow now;
my legs sprouted while I wasn't watching,
like the winter-battered trees will have sprouted
hopeful green buds upon my return.

We were always exactly the same height,
down to the wire,
competitive about it--
growing together but not in alignment. 
By the time I won,
edged you out those few inches,
we weren't talking anymore. 
I wouldn't have gloated, besides. 
I wonder if you noticed. 

Now here, with the river at my ankles,
you appear beside me--
an echo off the canyon walls,
a trickle of spring seeping from a rockface,
a pool of tadpoles scattering at my heels. 
And we are sisters again,
singing gibberish,
sharing trailmix,
shaping fairyhouses from storm-soaked mud. 

You pause, 
bend to the earth,
gather a handful of fine, white sand, 
your kryptonite. 
It filters through your fingers
and I feel the time slipping away,
feel myself moving between bodies,
and together we grow and change
and halfway between then and now I lose you completely. 

And there is our glitch,
there is our fault in the sandstone, 
there is the neat red dot,
placed perfectly between two Aprils, 
our D-Day.

I turn a bend in the river,
look back,
am peacefully alone.