Deepening the Course
I drag a booted heel through
thick creek gravel, dredge a ditch to keep
storm water pouring off a swollen pool
from washing out the lane, then wait
to check my work. The murky stir
sifts down into a sudden galaxy
of tiny eggs—white shine of dots afloat
in separate jellies—appearing briefly
to be blossoms strung among the branches
of the not-yet budded trees above.
But that’s a trick of light on water.
How reflection makes mottled rocks
glow gray-gold as a mackerel sky,
makes creek beds shimmer into cloud,
makes every single thing seem both
itself and every other thing at once.
The starry eggs tremble.
A quickened current pulls against
whatever substance holds them tight to stones.
They’ll wash away, or hatch, or won’t.
The creek will close up any mark I make.
But still, I cannot take it back, what I have done.
Hayden Saunier is the author of four poetry collections: How to Wear This Body (Terrapin, 2017), Say Luck (2013 Gell Poetry Prize), Tips for Domestic Travel (Black Lawrence Press, 2009), and Field Trip to the Underworld (2012 Keystone Chapbook Prize). Her work has been awarded the Pablo Neruda Prize, the Rattle Poetry Prize, and recent publications include Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, About Place, and Chatauqua. She is the founder and director of No River Twice, a poetry + improvisation performance group.