Posted in Nature, Nonfiction, Photography

The Light from Saxophones

Tsessebes afternoon sunThree tsessebees saunter up to their bellies in strong vertical spikes of custard-colored grass.  Their shoulder humps, sea-horse faces and gleaming russet coats rise and fall, rise and fall, from left to right, like a musical score on parchment.

The light in this photograph belongs to lingering saxophones.  Long, rich, golden notes catch and roll on the backs of impalas, snag in the teeth of lions and smolder in the burnt umber eyes of eagles.  The grasses, the trees, the tsessebees, all are coated in honey as the sun bends at the waist and pours out the last light of day in a long slow moan, a sweet trickle down the throat of night.


Cheryl Merrill’s essays have been published in Fourth Genre, Pilgrimage, Brevity, Seems, South Loop Review, Ghoti, Alaska Quarterly Review, Adventum and Isotope. “Singing Like Yma Sumac” was selected for the Best of Brevity 2005 and Creative Nonfiction #27. It was also included in the anthology Short Takes: Model Essays for Composition, 10th Edition. Another essay, “Trunk,” was chosen for Special Mention in Pushcart 2008. She is currently working on a book about elephants: Larger than Life: Living in the Shadows of Elephants.

6 thoughts on “The Light from Saxophones

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