and beneath the surface, the creek teemed with sound—
its voice reddened and rose above the foam and haze.
It had no need to seek an ear to cup what brimmed
with something perhaps resembling joy, perhaps
a state for which there is no name. It is
what it is, then: this rust-stained water
rushing onward to wherever it is
the water ends; veins faint purple and
streaked on the flower’s weathered cheek.
In response to Return to Otter Creek Wilderness.