Of all my hungers, I like October best,

that murky pond haloed in lustrous orange,

cattail spikes softening into fluff laden spheres,

the hills thicketed in rumex and saltbush,

both leaves and incendiary seeds

that hue toward tawny brown,

then burn in loquacious light. What if

my scant waters were let loose

in a direction suggesting home?

Some long ago uprooting corrected

and beneath my photograph a small note

reading restored, like this mottled swill

of leaf and meadow, or the creekbed

in Cascade hill country redirected

from a southerly slope to resume

its original channel to the north. A faint line

on an old map turned blue again.

That year was the first in seventy that salmon returned

to speckle the clear water with spawning,

which I’d say settles the rivalry

between where we do and do not belong.

On this shore, even willows rusting

the banks speak, even the path harlequinned

with fallen leaves. Seeds gather between my fingers.

Small wings in grass, they scatter.