The creek says littlehip hawthorn,

black banded darter, says firey skipper

and hearts a bustin’ with love.

The creek says pipsissewa with a grin

widening from saying such.

The creek claims in this beginning,

there is pigtoe, fleabane, and studfish,

and yellow shafted flicker.

Words becoming petal and shell,

words becoming feather and flesh.

The creek says say them with me,

say black redhorse, say indigo bunting,

Eastern spadefoot, Alabama hogsucker.

Say oblong sedge borer and sassafras.

Say them all here, call them into being.

The creek suggests you hike

while calling devil’s walking stick, wants you

to sit and watch for the slowpoke moth,

a Southern zigzag, and a false underwing.

The creek says take a stroll and belt out

raccoon, fox, and belted kingfisher.

Then listen. Call all the warblers,

the black-throated green, the yellow-rumped,

the prairie, the worm-eating, 

call every last warbler into warbling.

Come on in, the creek says,

meet the Canoe Creek Clubshell,

feel the cool of the rainbow shiner,  

the mimic shiner, the silverstripe shiner,

and the largescale stoneroller.

The creek says say Big Canoe

as you dip your oar, says

say Creek as you balance

light as whisper on these waters.