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Wendy Esterás

Ballad of Gazos Creek

Fourteen miles to Davenport

the sun well up and humming,

we happened on a pristine shore

vacant this weekday morning.

Bay traffic easily forgotten,

we stopped—not needing signals—

to stretch a dozen legs and

to spot egrets and seagulls.

We unloaded water, a couple of terriers

tipping heads sideways at the sign—

its wordless symbol seeming

to prohibit just Great Danes.

Two humans winked and disobeyed,

unleashed one canine each

who raced downshore with feathered legs

brushing a trail down the beach.

Eight footprints fell to six,

five or four, and then to two,

until they left no terrene trace,

surpassing the dogness that we knew.

At a whistle, the two dots

dashed inland, arcing like a wave,

and with no slowing of their speed,

grew back to beasts again. Engraved

upon our waiting faces

the countenance of peace,

our grins and theirs reward enough

for all our lack of speech.

About the Author | Honorable Mention in Poetry | Linda Purdy Memorial Prize

Wendy Esterás plants yellow flowers in clay-colored pots and still searches used bookstores for intact pop-up books in honor of her friend, Linda Purdy; however, unlike Linda, she does not dream of flying fish, nor does she write riddle poems or stories unless the conundrum first appears as a dream.

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