My friend wanted to know,
“James, in your poems,
You go down to the creek a lot.
Is that true?”
Summer in the valley,
About a half of a year of waiting for a real rain.
Still, the Sacramento River charges down the valley,
Fed by other rivers, like the Feather River,
And by creeks, like my Putah Creek,
Fed like a nanny feeds a child.
Along the banks, trees grow madly,
In other places, they hang on.
Often, my footsteps kick up dust.
I am like a tree that hangs on,
A determined valley oak,
Or like a rattlesnake lying in the sun.
About a half of a year, waiting for a real rain.
When it finally happens I will dance
Until my clothes are soaked through.
Until then, I will visit the creek.
The frogs and the herons don’t look dry at all.
07 October 2018
14 March 2019