All the Waters I Have Seen – Red Butte Garden


Ducks in a pond at Salt Lake City’s Red Butte Garden

We are walking in the sun, along the blue-green edges. I stop to hear the grass. Sedges and cattails speak a particular language, rushes another. Grasses are perhaps the most clear, but only when they are tall and seeded with knots of wisp. We listen for some time. We hear a sliding, an endless tunnel, as light is captured in the curled, flushed seeds. These are not native grasses. I linger while you pulse away, mud-stepping toward two ducks, whose soft, white feathers you prefer to tufts of grass. But my attention is graven. The grasses are still speaking. I hear in them the songs of trembling water; creekside echoes that are older than this pond. The water is still, in this afternoon sun, but the grasses shimmer. They do not belong here. I want to hate them for it, to step on them as you have done, but I cannot. They are still speaking, and I am here, listening to them bristle, and flock, and sing in the language that you have forgotten.


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