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I stopped as if I knew anything

by John Walton

Missouri Flat Creek

when the breeze 

began to change and 

began to 

belly through the scene 

of lucent reeds and 

ripened wheat. Nearby, 

grasshoppers stirred, coy to the touch 

of this sudden change,

while a pocket of white butterfly flickered 

into the tapered light 

of this Wednesday afternoon.


Then looking down the path,

a few honey bees were 

coiling up from the edge and 

flying out to a Willow tree 

beside the shaded creek.

I could tell the sun had been out

by looking around, this belief of light 

illuminating in the air.

And for a moment I wanted 

nothing more. In all my greenness,

I wanted nothing else. 


Then the thought of kneeling down 

beside the water, and 

putting my hands in it 

as it trickled past came to me. Then I wanted

nothing more than that. Because 

who could believe in wanting anything more?—

in wanting to know anything other 

than what it felt like 


to being so close to being 


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