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Quarry Rock
by Phibby Venable

Too deep in the blue quarry to turn back,
I measure the water with my breath,
held by the coldness, that rises slowly
upwards, until I am cool enough to face
the total immersion.
There is a young moccasin in a straight line,
holding still and undecided, at my small steps.
Each intruder, very careful of the other.
In the bottomless silence, my feet move
against the soft backbone of water.
The sun, in a dry search, finds only my hair,
floating free for dry heat and tiny weeds.
In the scorch of midday, I have transformed.
I am weightless with the philosophy of cardinals,
and a young moccasin, that has turned back
to his side of the quarry, in a glide of gratitude
in his surroundings.
Back to the promise of the sunlight's glare,
that has scorched his blue rock to perfection.


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