Wildflowers, star thistles,
and late afternoon soften
under a child’s eye. Observer
she mimics sounds
of lifting birds, where rivers
vapor among the dark
and hunched backs of mountains.

Winter thaws in the mouths
of butterflies and bees
caught in frantic trance
they dance,
the faces of blossoms.

When stars turn to clear water
the child lets the water
carry her reflection past deep pools,
rock islands, trees arched
over a white passage thin enough
for a shadow to cross.

In her hair grow landscapes
of orphaned birds
too late to catch the wind.
She plants each
at dawn in the field
behind my eyes,
where horses
raise long necks
calling in darkness;

And the bending of the grass
Stills long enough for a portrait.