Dangerous Kiss

Driving along Skagit City Road early on a sunny saturday
morning, the world was alive with late February gladness,

green plants in the fields had already broken the muddy
surface with their linear look, small gaggles of trumpeter

swans were digging their bills deep for food, crooking their
long necks, and waddling along, paying little attention

to the trumpeters leading the way. Red-tailed hawks
and white-headed eagles positioned on bare-limbed trees

above the road, kept track of the proceedings as fleets
of low-flying birds, dark and fast, swooped and swirled

over the meadows in perfect syncopation, stopping now
and then to rest and feed. Taken in by nature’s lively

drama, the couple stashed their car in the church parking lot
and headed for the dike and an elevated view of the action.

As they walked across the road, the young woman suddenly
turned and embraced the older guy, the two of them in a

prolonged kiss, standing on the double yellow line. When
they returned to their senses, they expected to see cars in

both lanes, the drivers smiling, waiting for them to move. Instead, there was nothing but a faint sense of the church’s

clapboard presence, the distant sounds of the swans trumpeting their glee and, perched in a nearby tree high

above, the steady gaze of a lone eagle, looking intently at the scene below, wondering, perhaps, if there was something to prey about.


From Best Poets of 2015

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