In Walhalla Ravine,

In Walhalla Ravine,

Emily Patterson

two ducks paddle upstream:
one emerald, the other soft

bronze, each with a secret violet
on the wing catching late light

over the clear water. Unmoving,
we watch them dive below

the singing surface with a kind
of clumsy elegance, watch them

shake cool droplets from
the waxen gleam of their feathers.

As they depart, you voice your
displeasure, calling them back

to what you know—yourself—
and for that brief moment,

they seem to take note:
an alert, possibly kind curve

in the round eye turned toward us,
two creatures on the other side

of the creek, beyond the wild blue
lupine, in a world apart yet shared.

Emily Patterson