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“King Rail Reserve.”

Wind-plowed furrows in ice across the marsh.
Cattails frozen suppliant. Loosestrife withered

colorless under a bright but ineffective sun.
The sky as full of wayward sparks as one can imagine,

toiling away not merely beyond sight but outside
the reach of a concept as simple as our present.

This reserve named for king rail, of which remain
in winter only toe prints preserved in mud

and molted feathers encased in ice.
One is never assured of return, but we forge comfort

from history. We mold our lives into something
we understand or else a place we might move

through. Stretching from the grayed boardwalk planks,
a wooden overlook like an abandoned poled ferry.

On its deck a mouse pelt so cleanly removed
the wearer seems to have prepared for a journey.