Without faith

Last evening I walked down toward the Missouri through the cool shadow of the bluebell wood, through last light guttering in the leaves and black pine. Ahead where trees end raggedly, give way to sweet woodruff and azaleas, I heard the shutter and break of pheasant. I stepped fast to see them, their wings thrashing air and underbrush, turning it into flight -- a quick dart and arc into nightfall. But they were gone. The low rhododendron where they'd hid shivered still. I felt the wind rise, replacing the warm worked air of their escape, the shimmer of gathered night-dew on the waxy leaves. I stood there long enough to believe.

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