52 SONGS

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

Friday, February 26, 2016

18. Ice on the Plain

Not enough snow again despite the snow that remains
up there on the Eastern Sierra we in the valley regard. 

We are too late to stop at Pizza Factory. We opt for Subway.
We opt for driving up the 395 four times a year.

I cannot tell Mt. Whitney from its nearby peaks. 
John Muir couldn't either, one time, hoping to summit it

in a day, ascending the wrong peak, unable to descend
in the dark, stamping and dancing all night to keep from

freezing. It is not freezing here now and hasn't been 
for weeks. It is February. It is Leap Year. My lips are dry.

From Muir I learned of snow banners blowing off 
the tops of the mountains in winter. He wrote well. 

I don't fear hell. I fear the fact the land he saw is not
coming back. We zoom along a seam in the valley.

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