Weathered stairs lead to an overlook I call 'the vista'. Below, rush hour traffic becomes a stream of headlights, the din reduced to a murmur.
The North Saskatchewan River carved this valley from a plane flattened by glaciers some 100,000 years ago. It winds Northeast, feeding sediment to Hudson's Bay-nourishment for water organisms, sustenance for waterfowl.
And here, at the top of the stairs, I'm aware of the beating of my heart, of the tiny stream flowing through my veins. Just lately, I've started to carry a note: "In case of death or injury call ... ." I'd like it to also say "Don't resuscitate," but know that should the pump fail and the paramedics find me still alive, I'll become kind of mechanical traffic, fluids forced through arteries, oxygen into lungs.
The car fumes cast a yellow tint to the evening light-are hurrying along global warming. In 100,000 years, another glacier; these human artifacts gone, the river of water still flowing, the valley carved yet deeper.
Published in contemporary haibun online