Proposal in a Modest Meadow

by Paul J. Willis

Monkeyflower crowds the foot of a waterfall
(those buttercup faces, up to something),

and a dipper flies the bends of the creek
down to a veil of mountain hemlock.

Overhead, granite climbs
to its appointed place in the sky.

Once, above that mountaintop,
a red-tailed hawk nested itself in pure air,

its feathers flapping on the wind
like a flag of no nation I know.

—Hoover Wilderness

—from Say This Prayer into the Past

Poem of the Month: September 2014

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