Craig Finlay


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At the footbridge I watch the great grey heron nosing about at the bankside and the river stretching away beyond and the river emphasizes itself slowly. Everything western Illinois gives, the river takes. The runoff and the bones of cars that peek out when the water is low. Peoria and the wastelands more distant. The scattered expanse of a ragged Victorian home. A yard full of small, delicate graves. My mother is there; my mother is a shambling drift. Certain in the sight. I think of geese at the tree line, I still wait like a crane for their passing. Be at the riverside when I feel the traction. The landscape that can roll and haw all the way back from Illinois to myself. A landscape to obey like water. A forest in the wind, the grass in the wind, the heart in all of it.  This morning, a sudden deer became to me from fog and flake and this was perfect. A car was manifest of snow and salt and this was perfect also.  I might walk in certain spots again.  I might become a cloud of fleas or a dogpack.  I could even lead a long, jagged line of myself south and you’ll hear my call in the crisp November, soft as I recede. The river passes and is lost. The wind passes and is lost. A plane flies over and is lost. I’m left with my copy of Monolithos and no clear recollection of walking to work this morning. A family of geese passes under the bridge and does not seem lost at all. What is one word you would use to describe yourself? Don’t say lost. Would you say “here”?

Craig Finlay

is a

Guest Contributor for Panorama.


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