FRESH WATER AT THE GREAT SALT LAKE

by Marilyn Darley Williams

(for Valene)

The Holy of Holies is found
between the reeds and bulrushes
of the fresh water marshes.
The yellow-headed blackbird avows
his adulation in song,
while she skitters from reed
to branch. Pelicans glide by in pairs.
Avocets and black-necked stilts,
with long spindle legs,
cut through water like cross-country
skiers. And there, beyond the parting
water, a single post looms.
A lone cormorant perches,
his ebony neck elongated,
his massive wings extended
like black vestments.
These are holy waters
over which he takes flight, his dark
shadow bestowing a benediction
in the language of the earth.

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