by Paul J. Willis
Dry Creek, that you are not.
The trail walks a checkered log
across your rapids. Yesterday
I stood in the snow where you began,
white as the foam that courses
now through moss, through boulders,
under the cedars and the hemlock
to the gray, impassive lake.
I think I am alone with you
until a young man rounds the bend
above the crossing—one leg flesh
and bone, one leg sprung steel—
and he treads the log without a pause.
His pack appears to be no burden.
He is heading, he says
to me, for Desolation.
—Ross Lake National Recreation Area