The sounds were the same forty years ago,
but we shrugged off the babbling brook,
the gurgling crick, the rushing water;
clichés that could not choke
the fluid chords.
She still has a croaking throat
of limestone boulders, which spills
low tones over a gravelly tongue.
Through lips of sand and reeds
she begins every conversation the same,
“Do you remember when…”
I sweeten my mouth with a BB-sized
teaberry—it tingles my jaw like dill—
and wait for her question to disappear
before I answer, “Yes, I do.”