– Eric Paul Shaffer
A deer stood in the road, unmoving in light that seemed brighter
than morning. The velvet horns simply shone. The quiet of forest
and suburban cabins was heightened by the busy hiss of a sprinkler
on a green lawn. Over all, the river spoke only to itself as the water
shoved wet, black boulders and broken branches aside. I looked
for the ouzel I know glides through the spray, but saw only one
robin posed alone on the clipped grass. Stumps in the shadows
gleamed with moss, and bits of their strength littered the driveway
gravel. Sometimes, I wish I could say something significant
about all of this, but I can’t. The world speaks louder than I can.
The road to the highway seems longer in sunshine and the river
quieter. And I’m sure if I stop and listen, soon enough, I’ll see
a magpie light on the ground, all that glossy black and white
and that mad, fleeting iridescence sunlight strikes from the wings.