John Brantingham

That autumn, the dog and I
walked each morning
up to a meadow so tiny
that no one bothered to name it.

Someone had driven a hollow
metal tube into the earth,
directly into a spring,
water slopping out
then escaping back into the earth
twenty-five feet downstream.

We'd position ourselves
on the other side of the meadow
next to a five-foot tall monolith
kids had constructed on vacation,
stone on stone on stone on stone,
and wait for the bear
who would ramble through some days,
the dog happy enough to watch
as long as I kept my hand
warm on his back.

When she didn't come,
there was the wind.
When there was no wind and no bear,
the meadow gifted us silence.

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