Iron Creek

Canyon beds pool with water
like a baptismal font.
Freed from the conventions 
of dressing well, of housekeeping,
we plunge our sandaled feet
into the rushing stream,
balance on unpredictable rocks
clutch walking sticks.
Each step in the river recalls
previous summer trips
along the Gila Middle Fork.
Same canyons, same mountains,
same earth and rock,
yet the light that reflects
off the rockface is new.

Above us, the ponderosa needles,
sprouting green above charred earth,
whisper “all things made new.”
Heeling at our ankles,
the stream of swirling snowmelt gurgles:
“I’m not the same river.
You’re not the same man.”

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