Goose bumps-
miniature primal humps.
If we had more hair, 
we would never notice you.
But it’s not just the chill
that elevates these tiny nodes.

For me it was the misty fall walk
near a brackish coastal stream.
Suede like cattail heads 
buoyant with slight wind,
reed foliage set the stage,
golden leaves turret tall. 

And I saw the bittern–
brother to the great blue heron,
perfectly camouflaged.
His straw colored beak 
frozen in upright position–
just another tawny piece of the marsh.

A prince of disguise,
and like the jack of spades,
one fierce eye stared at me–
a profile in defiance.

Bitterns are a rare sight, 
concealed and unnoticed. 
Almost wished as I warmed my skin
palms rubbing–

for the goose bumps not to go away.


lacy frond like branches
hang practically to the ground
you have a disheveled appearance
a red crevice trunk anchors you 
as you offer a windbreak

I see you filled with water 
decorated with animal bones
agates embedded 
in you    a canoe

all the ravens caw with admiration 
and people sing songs

but I know you best 
remembering grandpa’s war chest
where he’d pack old uniforms, hats 
veined hands working with care

and my little girl nose

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