The Light at Hinkson Creek

One final fall of sun slips past the ridge
behind my shoulder, coats the upper limbs
of a creek-side sycamore in gold too rich
for February, then settles on a stream
dead still, the clumps of foam scattered across
the water hung like fruit on mirrored trees.
The light seems somehow brighter brought to rest,
entangled in the far bank’s canopy—
the earthbound branches leafless, mottled gray
and silver-white, the rough bark’s loosening curls
inverted in immaculate relief,
and shimmering at my fingertips, so close
I have to reach for it, the twice-bent gleam
that passes in the swirl my reaching makes.