Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Late February at the river
On my more or less regular commuting walk through my neighborhood and along the Mississippi River the very gods themselves have come down from the heavens and breathed their piercing, spicy breath in my face.
I have seen snowflakes the size of my hand fall thickly from the sky as lightning ribboned through the clouds. I have seen buildings burning. Walking on the river shore I have come upon great, loping red shore birds, the size of Dodos, unknown to modern Zoology. Cats have talked to me. Streets full of trees, all blooming radiantly with white flowers, have been touched by spring breezes and covered the ground in a field of fragrant snowy petals.
I've seen prehistoric five foot fish leap clear out of the river. I've seen herds of turkeys, impossible thousands of robins heavy like ripe fruit on every tree in my neighborhood, and families of raccoons each the size of a fat golden retriever. There have been eagles perched in trees eating from unwieldy carcasses, deer have scrambled panicked among the thin woods, flowers bloomed in impossible profusions late in the fall amid radiant burning pumpkin trees. Ten thousand people suddenly marched by. Northern Lights undulated strangely in the sky. Ice exploded, waterfalls formed and thundered from nowhere, and the work of graffiti geniuses appeared and were covered over in a single day. I saw rainbows, sky dogs, celebrities, and the cataclysms of storms, their wreckage altering my very path.
All of this and more I have seen in my neighborhood, walking, and along the river.
And today? What in late February did I see?
I saw a leaf.
It was dead.