Fish Creek (This Fragile Heart)      

The last rays of the setting sun
bathe the canyon floor
as a lizard lazily warms itself on a rock.
Near sunset's completion, these rays slowly
disappear behind the canyon walls,
turning the sky into a myriad of oranges, reds, and grays
when a primal scream emerges
from the depths of the canyon,
so piercing, so soul searching
like nothing ever heard here before,
breaking the silence of the coming nightfall.

Then she calls out a name.

A lone figure is seen
standing with legs astride a rock,
reaching up to these last rays,
quivering in the cooling air
which takes over the heat of the day.
Who is this person, a lost soul?
Not seeming to be large enough
to utter such a sound, yet another one
rises from deep within her,
again piercing the silence of the canyon.
But there is something different about this scream.

She calls out a name.

Racked with sobs, the figure sits back
on this rock overlooking the canyon floor,
drawing her knees to her chest,
rocking back and forth.
No one else is in this lonely place.
Coming here for refuge,
for peace, for solitude, she continues
for a short while then stops, listens to the winds
which have now descended upon the canyon.
To this canyon she looks for salvation,
to put the pieces of her life back together.

But she calls out his name.

Making no move to leave or build a fire,
she sits quietly now, listening still.
She is home, Fish Creek Hill, her place, only hers.
Here she comes for healing, a healing she needs.
Not needing the comforts of civilization nor
wanting to face the hurt which is found there,
she stays. This is her place, no one else's.
Not even the lost dutchman could rival her
right to be here. Nothing now can draw her away.
Here she is for the duration.
Here is where she has turned before to heal.

But she calls out his name.

How long can this be? Not even she knows.
It doesn't even matter; time is of no consequence.
Waves of emotion begin to sweep through her frail frame,
and again the piercing scream is heard,
coming from unknown depths of her soul,
a wounded animal, crying out to the spirits to heal her,
to remove the pain which is all consuming,
to help her forget,
to make her feel whole again.
Can this ever be?
She thinks not, not this time, still she looks here.

And she calls out his name.

She calls out to the spirits,
begging release from this pain,
this empty feeling which consumes her
as the tears stream down her face.
Clutching her knees again,
pulling them close to her body,
her face turns toward the sun.
Its warmth cannot console her.
Still she feels a chill from deep down inside
Still she is racked with waves of emotion
as she screams out still again, wanting release.

She calls out his name.

Night has now fallen, blanketing the canyon in darkness.
Lying back on this rock,
she watches the stars move
in the vast expanse of sky which engulfs the canyon now.
One wrong move in either direction
could mean sudden death,
yet she taunts it.
Care has been thrown to the four directions;
no more does anything seem to matter.
Silently she lies there,

But she mouths his name.

Again the cries rack her frame.
Again she calls out to the spirits,
"Heal me. Make me whole again,"
then falls silent,
thinking, wondering,
will she ever be the same again.
Something is missing, someone,
but now there is only discord.
This thought turns down so deep inside
that a fifth piercing scream
now shatters the silence of the night.

And she screams out his name.

This time the scream is answered by others.
It is the coyotes of the desert,
howling in response to the sound which invades their territory,
challenging the calm that once enveloped their land,
a wilderness now inhabited by someone
but this someone seems to belong here.
Nothing has she brought save a small backpack
with some water and paper.
Using this backpack as a pillow, she stares blankly now
at the night sky, becoming one with her surroundings.
Here she remains for the rest of the night.

And she mouths his name.

At the very break of dawn,
again the same cry pierces the morning calm,
but another sound accompanies it,
one of the rattles of a rattlesnake
which has crawled out onto her ledge.
Silently they stare at each other,
each taunting the other to make the first move.
Should she lose this battle surely she would die
for she has no one around her or anywhere to go for help.
But the snake finally ventures off in the other direction,
and the spirits have once again saved her existence.

Hoarsely she calls out his name.

Now near the middle of the day, the sun blazes down,
baking the area and her, causing sweat to pour off of her.
Her water almost gone, she knows she must find more.
This is the desert, a place where all life is challenged.
Still nothing seems to matter, not even her water supply.
Leaving the ledge, finding a walking stick,
her journey further into the depths of the canyon begins.
Not wanting to be found, down she hikes to the bottom of the canyon,
then follows the dry stream bed, Fish Creek,
further back, away from the one way dirt road
that brought her here to her place, her place to heal.

She whispers his name.

For months she has tried other ways to forget,
to release the pain she feels inside.
But none of these have worked
whether it be the senseless speeding on the freeway,
or the late night communing at the beach,
listening to the ocean waves lap at the shore
as she would sit, one lone figure
in the early hours of the morning
often staying to watch the sunrise.
Fish Creek was her last hope to achieve inner peace
as it had done for her one time long ago.

She whispers his name.

Again she sits, pondering now the Great Mystery,
wondering how she could have gone wrong,
and why she allowed this predicament to happen.
Life rustles all around her in the bushes and on nearby rocks,
but she does not notice, being too consumed with pain,
the pain of losing the one love in her life,
a love so strong that not even she understands it,
a love that snuck up on her when she least expected it.
But it happened, and now she struggles to deal
with its loss, a loss that seems to be the end of all feeling
deep down inside, to reach a catharsis so as to move on.

She cries out his name.

Four days, four nights she spends in this spot,
the last two with no water or sustenance at all.
Nothing seems to matter; she thinks of nothing else.
Knowing she must get a handle on this emptiness,
she finds she cannot release it, not even here at Fish Creek,
which in the past has served her so well in times of crisis.
So her resolve is to push it down deep inside
to a place so remote that not even she will notice it.
Will she be able to do this so that she can leave
and return to another who depends on her?
Haggard, weakened, the fifth day she thinks of leaving.

Agonizingly she cries out his name.

Dehydrated, and beyond exhaustion from not having slept
in all this time, too preoccupied with her quest,
she begins her attempt to leave this place,
knowing it has not served its purpose, but
not comprehending why it hasn't this time
when it has so many times in the past,
this place of solitude, for soul searching.
It has aided her in her recovery from all her woes,
until now, now when she needs it most.
The struggle is almost too much to bear in her ascent
but she continues, retracing the path she made five days before.

And she whispers his name.

Emerging from the canyon at dusk, she gets in her car,
beginning the long ride back home,
knowing she will never return to Fish Creek Hill,
knowing this pain inside, this emptiness, will always be with her,
and knowing she must continue for another who depends upon her.
This is something she will always carry with her in her heart,
but never totally share with anyone,
knowing they will laugh, will scoff at her, will call her silly.
Acceptance of this knowledge is her only recourse.
And she will still dream of the day she fell so hopelessly in love,
wondering why she couldn't have stopped it, why she allowed it to happen.

And she still mouths his name.

the wolf is my messenger

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Dakota Proverb

copyright July 10, 1999, by Louve 14
last revised 8 january 2003
all rights reserved