An August Day on the Missouri

Strands of moss twisting in the current

Big-lipped carp greedily sucking in dead mayflies in the foam

Layers of gravel in a steep cutbank – laid down by a long-ago deluge

A mule deer mother and her yearling atop a high ridgeline, ears up and alert

Osprey screeching above the cliffs, bound for downriver

Deep water pushes heavily against a bluff, turns back on itself, and slips away

Water-worn stones reveal the implacable past

Pelicans riding thermals, so high their white undersides resemble distant jetliners

Silence, then a breeze, and the sound of sheets being removed from a bed, it’s the leaves

Silver flashes in amongst the cottonwoods

A brown spider walks across my bare foot, a butterfly lands on my chest

Wind coming up, temperature cooling down, time for dinner

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