That last summer we sat
in creaking saddles on day trips
in the High Sierra, inhaling petrichor
and lichened bedrock.
Nudged cattle through tall grass.
I had all I ever wanted, at thirteen:
my own horse and a long August.
Above the cabin, stars buzzing
like mosquitoes. I knew the seasons
to come wouldn't have horses and those stars.
This morning above my town trees gallop
in the wind, flexing thin branches,
gold leaves whipping around
themselves like a horse
that bucks when backing up.
I have hooked my star
to dawn's grapefruit moon.
Boughs creak like saddles
in the wind. My wishing star, gone
on a long ride, vanished in a meteor shower.
The news said a chance of more
showers later. That made me buck
and back up at a sudden call
from lost mountains. At sixty-five,
I spun around, pranced downhill
in a last sweet lope to the valley
of lost things, where a new trail starts
and the underground river cuts
deeper, flashing its dark lights.
Labels: inspiration, memoir, mountain, nature poetry, petrichor, poetry