Magazine | May 14, 2012, Issue

Poetry

EXPOSURE

The wind is much too strong. He tries to shelter

where a split rock hides a narrow patch of grass

beneath the summit shining like stained glass

and sees the sun go down on his adventure.

He thinks about the shell he didn’t pack.

He has a box of matches, but no fuel,

and when the weather changed he was a fool

to push on when the ranger said go back.

He knows it’s cold. When he exhales the steam

solidifies his beard against his face.

But he is summer warm and folds his fleece

on a smooth stone and curls into a dream:

Six angels from the AMC hut climb

the ridge to feed him coffee and massage

his limbs before they bear him to their lodge.

He watches as their ponytails keep time.

If only he looked eastward he would find

a cabin waiting with a stove and bed

by Lonesome Lake two hundred yards ahead.

Exhausted hikers rarely face the wind.

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Sections

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Poetry

EXPOSURE The wind is much too strong. He tries to shelter where a split rock hides a narrow patch of grass beneath the summit shining like stained glass and sees the sun go down ...
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