fourth of july


Straight up Mount Dickerman

the trail disappears

into years-old


in some places reaching

fifteen feet or more

Along the way we

spot columbines, and

salmon- and huckleberry, and


thriving in the shadows

of giants: Douglas fir,

red cedar, mountain hemlock,

and Engelmann spruce

Everywhere there is

the sound of water—

streams trickle into

rivers, cascade into

falls, tumbling down

the mountainside, fed by

the snow,

fast ablating

Mingled with the


are the cries of

forest birds, such as

the spotted towhee, and

the winter wren, and

somewhere, off in the distance,

a great gray owl’s

basso hooting


At the peak we enjoy

panoramic views, and

store-bought cherries

with grilled cheese

The pipits are wagging

their tails, and the

golden-crowned kinglets

flock from tree

to tree

It is a simple matter to

descend the snowpack:

Lower one’s rump

to the softened track,

row with the arms

for momentum, then

lean back and

glory in

the glissade


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