Irawadi


   This morning after drinking the standard orange juice, I nibbled on a banana that was in the corner cupboard. Then, I set out to walk.

    Near the creek, along Tulpehocken road, a few cars crept slowly in front of mine due to the presence of a township street sweeping machine whisking a round brush along the edge of the rural road. It seemed to me this proved the adage you  must crawl before you walk.

   I walked the four segments of the balance beam and at the end of the balance beam lay an attractive bit of sycamore. Throughout the first part of my walk, as my insteps loosened up, several of the trees and logs presented as natural sculptures and the morning was sunlit and quiet, with evidence of rain overnight, as the path was damp beyond what the dew does and the does do. The loudest noise was a person walking with a windbreaker and the cloth rubbed as he swung his arms, which rubbed his sides.

   It surprised me to find a piece of litter near the six marker that contained the image of a monkey eating a banana. The odds of finding Pick of the Litter that describes your breakfast are extraordinary. Several runners and joggers went through their paces. Most of the litter lately has been peeled water bottle labels.

   Three herons stood in the middle section. The first heron was looking natty like a waiter, a very sharp dresser, biding time by the margin of the creek, looking for something appetizing. Another heron sat with its head scrunched in, looking more at the leaves falling and the possibility of traffic coming along the sparsely travelled road than it was concentrating on fishing. It had found its location on the long trunk of a fallen treen which picked up and trapped an assortment of leaves and branches as it jutted into the water at a twenty degree angle to the shoreline. The third heron flew from the path side of the creek to the road side and looked very crane-y, lanky and tall and with a healthy wingspread. It stood. It strutted. For a stride or two, we were even.

   Once home I made a puzzle drawing using the banana monkey and the sycamore as an overlay and started cleaning up the loft, adrift with papers and books, and looked at a random page in volume five of an encyclopaedia set, where the word IRAWADI headed the right hand top page and you could read about the fierce river in India at the lower right corner and a paragraph or two on the next page, top left.

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