How time can stop. Stand still mid-passage, mid-stream. A bridge, high water, flood where the creek curves to run north. The creek leaves the forest canopy there, where gray, where no horizon. Where the estuary, wide open. Mouth, urgent for the sea.
Bridge, cross over. Leave or return to, come to. A different time.
Sweetgrass smoke fused with winter. Fog closed in, shrouded a figure formed of leave-taking words pronounced for weeks, months following the news. How a death can shape things, as if all life is soft clay.
Water, flood-high swept close under the bridge. Wind, storm-force swept in from the sea, from the north, from outside the forest canopy. Effigy of clay swaddled in cedar fronds. Halted for a time there on the bridge.
Released, the effigy rode the creek, but not far. The outflow, even in flood, not strong enough to sweep it all the way to the estuary. Where the tide.
Freighted, the weight of clay took it under water, there where the creek curves north. Settled it, mid-stream, in the soft silt bed, to be worn away, over time, grain by grain. Over time, the creek carried the story to its mouth, where it opens to the sea.