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Salmon River Estuary


ISSUE:  Autumn 2003

Drifting close to shore, we enter the shadow
of Cascade Head. Our kayak jitters in an eddy
as we dip and lift the double-bladed paddles
to keep ourselves steady. Lit by morning sun,
current and rising tide collide before our eyes
in swirls of foam where the river becomes
the sea. Surf seethes across a crescent of sand.
Gone now the bald eagle’s scream as it leaves
a treetop aerie, the kingfisher’s woody rattle,
gulls’ cackle, wind’s hiss through mossy brush.
Light flashing through sea mist forges a shaft
of color that arcs a moment toward the horizon
and is gone. Without speaking, moving together,
we power ourselves out of the calmer dark
and stroke hard for the water’s bright center
where the spring tide will carry us back upriver.

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