...the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

23. Kearsarge Pass Trail

Over the first saddle, a flatter place
under trees blunting sunlight, what
I’d not yet in recollection seen

crossed the path before us, walking with
a quail’s gait, or a pheasant’s,
somewhere in size between the two,

duller in color, brown, gray.
I later learned it was grouse, common
to the Sierra, but new to me then.

In the cool of shade shared
by the pond on our left,
greenly mirroring trees, I said,

Wait, don’t scare it, what is it,
I don’t know what it is.
My boy, over his nausea

and altitude-inflicted headache
by this time, said after I said
what a treat it was to see a thing

for the first time, Maybe if I lived
as long as you and never saw
a bird like that before I’d also be

excited about it, like you are.
The creature fled. I squatted down
to put my pack back on, cool and damp

on my shoulders, and grabbed his, too,
so he could walk unhindered.
We eventually came to Flower Lake.

No comments: