prose sketch: on the Spirit Trail

Sun. 10 Feb 2013 1:00 p.m. Spirit Trail Below Alder Street

Touch: my bones against the hard coated steel of the bench; puffs of refrigerated air gusting up the trail; the faint pressure of the sketchbook on my right thigh.

Taste: slight metallic residue of Crest mouthwash; a desiccated quality from having taken in salt at breakfast.

Smell: a faintly earthy freshness; a sunwarmed composty vegetable-ness.

Sound: traffic on Esplanade: a busy urgent highway roar, now more distant as traffic lights have halted the stream; the tremolo of two seaplanes flying over the harbor; the gleeful piping and warble of birds; two surly caws of a crow.

Sight: nearby: the long, wavering strands of shadow cast by a bare wintry shrub; the newish asphalt of the trail itself, its surface sparkling here and there with tiny crystalline gems like stars in the night sky; the brownish tangle of still-bare bush covering the steep slope down to the street; railcars parked by a great empty yard like a deserted parking lot; beyond: more stopped trains, a red-hulled freighter gliding on the silver-blue water; then the smoky jagged skyline of downtown, and the pale-blue sky, streaked and washed with feathered cloud.

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