END OF MOUNTAIN SUMMER. Eagle Cap Wilderness. . .
On the road in the American Northwest.


The fall winds have again descended upon me,

and summer has departed like a beloved

headed South

in the middle of the night,

the door left open,

and leaving not even a short note behind.

I wake up in a cold sweat

thinking to myself, "Shall

I follow her? Where on earth could

I find her? Tending her flocks of sheep on the pampas?"

No, I'm staying put.

I'd have to search every Tango

joint in Rio. She'll come back when she's ready.

I'm already digging in.

Time to shorten up my long-winded Mediterranean lines

into something more like Spartan, tough-minded,

laconic couplets.

What was it Dienices said at Thermopylae

when told the Persians would rain down a cloud

of arrows so thick it would block out the sun?

"Good then. We'll fight in the shade."

HOPE IS . . .

Hope is the patch of blue sky high above on the mountain
before me as it begins without a trace of wind ever so
gently to snow;

Hope is the first fish that returns in the fall from the sea,
knowing that others—against all odds—may soon follow;

Hope is the young cellist who already knows all her Bach
by heart;

Hope is the loud, raucous sound of nutcrackers stashing
pine seeds for winter, or the tiny buds of a grouse-
berry already prepared for the coming spring;

Hope is the sound of the British choir boy's voice echoing off
the great stained-glass windows to the west, singing vespers,
at Chartres;

Hope is the labyrinth we all must walk as the silence of
nighttime descends upon the land like a benediction, and
we reluctantly realize that we too must continue our journey
alone, after these few, and lucky, and rare, and all-too-brief
moments of warmth and sharing along the way.

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Heather Camp,
Eagle Cap Wilderness

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