Topanga Canyon

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
July/August 2016

By Edie Patterson

Two white cars pass each other on the highway,
One maneuvers easily around a red barn,
through a twist in the highway,
and towards the seashore’s fogbanks,
Pulling up the canyon side, the other passes
under the shady brambles of a glen,
And its destination, far from sight,
twinkles reflected only in its seeker’s eye.
Now the first car is only a speck on the horizon;
the ocean is far from me but not from it,
Going fast, the second car enters the woods’ splintered
sunlight, unseen to my eye,
gone like the nighttime stars,
And as the morning star fades, I recall how soon
I will have to get in my car and leave this paradise.
Coyotes, far on the other side of the canyon, howl;
can they feel the loneliness in the air, too?
A finch hops onto an ancient locust tree’s limb,
its feathers creating a halo of sunlight and joy,
Not a care in the world, the finch lifts off,
its sequined shard of light following it wherever it goes,
Yammering, higher on the cliff; our neighbors’ chickens awake
to the already bright sky.
On the cliff, I sit; I can see the Pacific before me, like a mirage,
moving away through my car window…
Now my dream vanishes: I am still here,
still sitting in this wondrous place,
but for how long, I cannot say.

Topanga Canyon Edie Patterson

Edie Patterson, 10
Lawrence, Kansas

About the Author

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