Fall 1988 • Vol. X No. 4 PoetryOctober 1, 1988 |

The Third Walk: Mckinley Park Hotel to Mount Healy Overlook

Wind in a bush gives me a start. Moose sign, but no moose, no bear. I whistle a Dvořák serenade—calm fatalist—against my fear. Helped by the wind, I rise above willow and spruce. Bluebells and wild roses lend their colors to the green. And as I bend to a monkshood's purple flower, this thought: somehow before the age of ten, I let death in. He was a strong ally. Obsessively, I penciled his flag of skulls in my school notepad. Switchbacks winding me up, I lean my treacherous balance against the slope. Red squirrels, marmots—relative pacifists. And sitting at the level of a peak, white snow on charcoal gray, I write this down, sip from a grapefruit can, and climb again, straying beyond the trail. On a slope of scrabbly shale, tilting me back, I cling, knowing the slightest breeze can lift me off. I feel like a fool, light-headed, a leaf, a wing—among the shattered rock, lost between here and there, part of me willing to go. And surfacing from c

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