This morning, as I sat at the birch table, I heard a stick break outside the window. I stood up and looked out onto the courtyard. Ambling across the brick patio was one of the largest raccoons I’ve ever seen. She tentatively looked around as she walked around the corner of the house and down the driveway, toward Agua Fria street.
In a few minutes she was back, but this time with a young raccoon in her mouth. She headed straight for the overgrown ivy bush at the back of the house, and disappeared into it through an area that seemed far too small and dense to swallow such a huge animal.
All day she has been sleeping there, with who knows how many young children raccoons stashed behind the overgrown ivy.
This overgrown yard, filled with beautiful desert weeds, lizards, and rare birds. Maybe it’s the little saucer of water we fill every day that keeps them all coming back. It’s a dry patch along a busy street, yet somehow wildness finds a way.
At the bridge we crossed a dry river
that went underground after a clear lake.
Across the road it bubbled up again
in a place called Fish Lake.
The water of the lake it came out of
was so perfectly clear, and cold
that you could see old stumps and tree’s bones
—when it had been a meadow once, long ago.
People now paddled lazily
with no motors in hearing
above the deep, cold, clear lake.
I sat beside a huge tree with my mom
then we drank straight from a spring that rushed out of a hill.
Things like this just happen, and keep going on.
Mom says: “I like to know
that this spring we sit beside, and drink
is still running, no matter where I am
or what I think.”
The water stays clear, if we can keep it that way—
in that place that is far away from me now, yet also right here.
A place I call Clear Clear Lake.