Petaluma River

Travis Stephens


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Muzzy overcast day
            haze on the hills
            like a hangover
fresh green meadows
            burn tired eyes
ahead a string of barges.
Ducks paddle into
the current
            as cattle watch.
All is on pause
            the rain falling
            and more to come.
Roots break from the
mud to catch a breath.
Egrets poke at nothing.
            Me too.

Sky broke open,
a cloud grazes, ambles on…
In the pasture of sky
            from Sonoma Mountain
            to the headlands
the roundup has begun.
No branding irons needed
no horses to ride
            just watch
the cloud hands gather
tally, corral.
They mill,
flick tails in annoyance.
Restless, dangerous

Travis Stephens

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.


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