• THE HUCKLEBERRY CHUM
do you know what magic looks like?
i have seen it a thousand times and
have been too caught up in tomorrow
to recognize it a million more.
the stream that reaches deep into the forest;
follow it until the sunlight slips tender, long fingers
in between cedar boughs - pointing
to what lay beneath,
before dipping her hand into the creek.
together the cedar and the sun turn the water
the deepest amber
you could never imagine.
revealed is a sea-scarred chum,
freshly turned from silver.
now she wears a stripe of purple
all the way down her side,
and shades of yellow, burgundy, and blue
mix into her scales.
the salmon holds beneath a branch brimming
with the reddest, ready
huckleberries i have ever seen.
they look just like the eggs she is on her way to lay,
in a redd she will dig
until her tail is worn away.
soon after she is to melt into the river,
giving her body back
to the place it was borrowed from.
this is the colour of magic;
i am sure of nothing
if not this.
- april bencze