salida del sol

Image

(photo by leah)

It’s morning and

the sun swings up

above the monte,

setting fire to

mesquite trees

and pitaya cactus,

warming the

humid,

maritime air,

stirring

the wildlife

to life

First up are the doves—

white-winged, mourning—

their coos

a gentle reminder

that dawn has

broken and

daylight

has arrived

This wakes the gulls—

black-capped, laughing—

they confab

at the sandbar:

chittering, chortling

chuckling

at what joke,

no one knows

The terns—

royal, Caspian—

regal in bearing,

take wing on

water-borne

thermals,

their ascent

watched and

tailed

by frigatebirds,

already keen

on

plunder

It’s morning and

the mullet are

jumping, spawning,

rushing headlong

toward the current

as I

cast a silver spinner

into the channel,

the desert sun

at my back

and mangrove forest

at the fore

I wade out

to my knees,

silty water

creeping past

rafts of

snails

and sea hares

underfoot

An egret fishes

to my left

while willets

probe mud

to my right;

we keep

a respectable

distance,

as any

fisherman

would

A swimming crab

pinches my toes—

hungry, testing

I brush her

aside and

tell her,

“This is no dream,

but thanks

for

the reality

check.”

And what,

might you ask,

did I catch?

No fish, just

solar rays

and a

shimmering

glimpse

of paradise

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