Snake Creek


Tired body aches. Long walk on starry night–
ears attuned for bear at creek, or cougar.
Nothing, not a doe.
                               But that afternoon
came upon a healthy young buck in a meadow.
High up. And a hawk left a feather for me.
Old, old stands of lodgepole pine, grey bark
like wrinkled hides of elephants. Thick carpet
of dead needles.
                          Thirst. Sit at snowbank
for an hour eating snow. Burn tongue.
To soon after stumble upon a pond and the place
that a creek springs from the mountain. Water
indescribable. Eat ravenously and drink deep
gulps.

Climb highest rocky peak at dusk. Razor-back
ridge. Mother hawk scream nearby. Must
backtrack and then go straight down near dark
feet fall through layers of scrub pine, hands
grab for the live stalks only support against
broken bone.
                      Choose steep narrow bed of loose rocks,
surely waterfall in some other season and descend
on ass and all fours, feet first always fearful
it will end in an uncontrollable hundred foot drop.
Trickles of water nearing bottom.
                                                   Cracked hands, raw
behind, cross final snowbank and attain road
along Snake Creek.


Copyright 1985 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.