Rain hits the sumacs along the Red Hill Creek far into the valley settles to earth, into the slow stream — there’s no galvanized culvert yet but the road will be built so the friends of city hall may have their expressway, jobs, and money In the sunny afternoon, mud smears make clear the path construction trailers will follow not far from the hikers’ path the raccoon sleeps away the day in a tree the eagle circles high looks for mice, random life Soon we will have standards: lanes, rules of road, noise and light at night, everything done for the purpose of getting somewhere else, of being gone from here. The creatures are here. They have no desire to leave while the sumacs bleed in the autumn sun and asphalt is an abstraction still to come. At the top of the food chain stands a high school student who works Sundays at the burger bar a destination so transitory it might as well be a dream. But if she should ever pause in her order-taking let it be because the pheasant and the wolf have wandered in and are about to fly out between the buildings on either side with whatever part of the human place-setting strikes their fancy, and can be shared with their young.