For three hours, it whispers
to the sleek waxed hull, our canoe
afloat in starry night black waters.
Star-twinkle dances on the glass-smooth
surface of the old stone-carver's face,
the midnight desert river, Colorado.

Then comes a sudden sound 
of countless beating wings almost
within touch above our heads.
At the stern I crouch and listen,
the obsidian air about us sings.
We float, ancient river now our Captain.

Lifting my hand-carved paddle,
I gently slice it back to steer
a silent gliding path. The geese
pass in moonless dark, migrating
flock so huge, so dense, that all
the reflected heavens disappear

from river's magic mirror. We don't speak
for hours, my son and I, or dip our paddles
until the phantom sounds of night's
flight passes into coming dawn, the sun
yet to set the golden desert sky a-flame.
In this dawning, we find new selves.

It's a journey that's enriched our lives.


david coyote
Revised 5-13-19

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