Walt McDonald The 2River View, 7.1 (Fall 2002)

Another Montana Dawn

Crows squawk across the valley at dawn.
Other couples snuggled in sleeping bags
may blink and linger in sleep. Crouched beside
this rented tent, breathing Montana pine,
we wonder if crows cawed yesterday at dawn
before the lodge fire drove us stumbling outside

in the dark, the crackle of burning walls,
the siren shrill enough to scare the bears.
Millions of decades, glaciers scoured the peaks,
a month to build a lodge, an hour to burn it down.
Last century is history, a millennium
hardly a scar on forty miles of forest.

Today, we’ll hate to leave this tent
half buried in snow without coffee at dawn,
no matter how many grizzlies waddle by,
steep peaks as far as we can see, no breeze,
McDonald Lake a ten-mile slick, a thousand geese
rising like hosannas, now and forever wild.

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