Holding tight to the sweet smell of jasmine
that hit me as I swung hard around the bend,
so sudden, a pleasant apparition.
Holding tight to the eucalyptus-tinged wind
that riffles the surface of the water
half-hidden among the trees.
Holding tight to the sharp smell of still-wet soil,
wafting through that glorious tunnel of trees
that arch gracefully skyward like ribs in a cathedral.
Pausing, to hear the kerfaffling of water,
rushing over rocks,
stilling something in me.
Straining to notice every last detail,
on this last ordinary day.
Like the way the late light tangles in the high branches,
a lingering lover promising to stay
just one more minute.
And the indelible image
of a tiny crow,
perched on the end of the giant arm of the perfectly-still windmill,
gazing far out to sea.
Repeating, repeating, repeating,
my rosary of the disappearing present.
Holding tight to the way the light glimmers white
off the wings of that tiny bird,
whose name I wish I knew,
as it flaps off, further and smaller away.
Holding tight to the pale pink embers of day,
caught on the raven’s belly,
as he traces my winding path
high above, seeming
Holding tight to the flock of ducks
barely rippling the surface of the pond,
rising and falling with the evening tide,
watching the world go by.
Holding tight to the sea,
caught in that moment
when the light hits the water just so,
and the whitecaps stand at attention,
and the sand glows bronze,
and, for a moment, everything is good.
Megan McCrea is a journalist based in San Francisco. Her stories have appeared in print in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sunset, Via, Diablo, and Mabuhay magazines, and online on Poetry Flash, Healthline, and Earthjustice. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Megan co-authored Other Places Publishing’s guidebook to the Federated States of Micronesia & the Republic of Palau, and she edited OPP’s guide to Tonga. Megan lives in the middle of the city with one roommate, 279 books, and easy access to Karl the Fog. Find her on Instagram @mcmccrea, and online at www.meganmccrea.com.