Listen to The River Last

High Meadow Meander         ©Copyright Jonathan Slator

Jonathan Slator reading Listen to The River Last Night

From the caprock across the canyon’s yawn
listen to the river last.
Movement on the long quiet volcano
antelope skylight the ridgeline
catch the glanced light.

With the thirty-thirty
correct windage and bullet drop
keen clicks of the turret
a stroke of luck
I could drop that strong yearling
slip fish and game via the dirt road
have meat enough for my family

till spring. But I have no rifle here
nor any desire to crush the quiet
to start the eagle from the snag
on the bank a final fall below
to lift the head of the coyote sentinel
on the east rim
to flush mergansers white flanked and frantic

from the eddies. I prefer the loud still
the clinging hope that once back
in the city’s brawl
where all lives save one are buried under rock
by the driven and the driven
I will hear the canyon witness
I will listen to the river last.