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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The order of things (date unknown)

The July heat scorches the leaves and grass along the shore. The carp near shore rub their backs on stones like cats looking to stay cool. They nibble on the roots of things, while foolish turtles hang out in the sun, baking themselves on rotting old logs as if preparing themselves for soup.
Jealous me, for the first time in my life, wishing for a shell, needing an umbrella to keep the bridge dust off my head as tractor trailers thunder over.
The smell of the mills hangs over the river top with a layer of smoke, making the misery of the heat seem worse, with mill workers on break standing along the bridge rail wondering what I'm up to down here, scratching their heads over why anyone would want to hang out along this soiled river.
They can't see the ducks or don't want to, but that's why I came, catching sight of the ducks and their ducklings all in a row. They were on the old dock when I first caught a glimpse, then plopped one after another into the water as I came for a closer look.
I'm told duckingling follow their mother in the order they were born in, if so, this explain why they all did not jump in at once, but lingered at the edge, waiting their turn.
I'm jealous of them, too, of the strict family life they enjoy in their youth, an orderly existance I've never been able to acquire.
Over head, the gulls howl with their own hungry complaint, annoyed by the mill workers on the bridge, seemingly afraid to make their usual dive towards the water top with those people watching. They seemed to hate the heat as much as I do, and their call seems to catch the month stretching it out, making it echo off the concrete face of the bridge: "July, July, I hate July."
Then, the mill workers leave, laughing as they make their way back to the huge doors on the other side, and the gulls hover in the air, as unorganized in their preparations as I am in mine, making their dives without apparent order, ripping open the belly of the river and drawing from it the shivering silvery slippery fish they'd craved for, then fleeing as other gulls chased them, trying to take their treasure away.
Not much different from human kind, I think, then make my way back up the bank to continue my morning jog.

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