MOUNTAIN PASTORAL

Through the bluish haze of morning

he watches cottonwoods,

crystal with the river’s mist,

slowly fill with light

 

One side of the highway, elk gather in columns

in meadows dotted with horses;

on the other, magpies in a ditch

tear at the grinning ribs of a car struck deer.

 

The feisty red sedan on his tail for miles

finally passes on a stretch,

rises into the vapors hanging over

mesas cut abstract in the age of glaciers.

 

Coffee cold by now, the road relentless,

hungry for eggs over easy, biscuits and gravy,

he keeps going, has to,

has to be there for his boy, seven today.

 

The stripe of the highway draws him

through one silver valley into another.

Low on gas, sun racing to catch him,

he speeds to old hurts across the state line.

 
 
 
 
 

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