Safe Passage

I could write a poem
about epic adventure,
preparation, struggle,
final overcoming,
the tired entrance into camp,
with dawn just emerging over the far mountains.

But better to write about
a sunny summer day
on a well worn path above Bass Lake
following Willow Creek,
woods green with spring colors,
air fresh and cool and damp
like the moisture of fresh snow melt
still hiding in the dark recesses of the wood,

and the water high with the spring flood,
racing deep and fast through a rocky flume,
smashing into boulders,
foaming in deep whirlpools,
where the east side is hemmed in
by the vertical granite wall,
and the west side is a wide sloping granite shelf
warmed in morning sun,
an inviting deviation from the path
that loops away through still cool wood,

and how we walked along the shelf,
thirty feet from the edge,
and how the seeping water was barely noticed,
the algae clinging to the rock
so slick that we were without warning on hands and knees,
sliding, slowly, down the shelf,
and how each attempt to stand was unsuccessful,
and brought us closer to the roiling water,
and only the most gentle movement
made progress against the slanting rock,
twenty feet of passage
sideways, slow, slow crawl,
measuring each move,

and how the sun shone, and the birds sang on,
and the sound of water never changed.

copyright © 2011 Francis Kearns

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s