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Crossing Braddock Run

On the far bank
           of Braddock Run
           in high summer
   you might find
   the deep satisfaction

   of crossing quick water
   after a rain

It might not be easy

   Around your footing
nothing will lurk
but steady and
           irregular force

   the stones worn smooth
   and slippery
the shallow
   surface of the run
   with imbalance
in the mottled
           morning light

Take a slow breath
the cool air
           of the shadows
the small water sounds

Look briefly back
then climb the rough bank

  if you can

and look closely
           at the heart
of the hydrangea's

pink flower
   blue flower
           white flower

   your life's obsession
with decay

           in the natural world
  is driven by beauty

We have much
           to live up to.

Clint McCown

Total Balance Farm
Press 53

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