Day's End

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Day's End




Weathered stairs lead to an overlook of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Below, rush hour traffic is a river of headlights and a yellow haze tints the darkening sky.

For thousands of years, the river has been carving this valley from a plane once flattened by glaciers. It winds northeast, a fat powerful snake, carrying sediment to Hudson's Bay, feeding the chain of life.

At the top of the stairs, my racing heart pushes a tiny stream of blood and oxygen through aging veins. Just recently, I've started to carry a note in my pocket: In case of death or injury call ... Do NOT resuscitate.

But I know that if paramedics find me still alive they'll turn me into something akin to that mechanical chaos flowing on the highway below – fluids forced through reluctant arteries, oxygen pushed into failed lungs.

In a distant future, there will be another great river of ice and these human artifacts will be swept away. Once again, a river of water will flow, a valley will be recarved, nutrients will feed the great bay, the chain of life will be nourished.

returning again
to the river valley vista –
Saskatoon blooms


R. Rasmussen, Contemporary Haibun Online, 2:4, December, 2006.