Hammond Branch

HAMMOND BRANCH

I.

Evening light filters through leaves.
I know these woods—
could navigate them
in the half light of dusk,
or even at night.
I’ll sit here, write a few lines,
read another poem or two.

II.

Water flows over granite ledges,
through gaps between boulders,
past the rocks on which I sit.
Upstream, Hammond Branch meanders,
its channel cut into the alluvial plain,
old channels filling
with water after a heavy rain.
Downstream, it flattens
onto the Coastal Plain,
runs over gravel and sand,
flows under an old railroad spur
and merges with the Little Patuxent,
then the Patuxent, Chesapeake Bay,
and finally the Atlantic,
mingling with the water of a million creeks.

III.

We are streams
flowing from one place
to another,
from our springs
to our ends,
needing rocks
to slow us
so we can become
moments in time.

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