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

In a San Juan Mountain Cabin

Rocks tumble down the sluice all day,
racket like mustangs clattering past the cabin.
In mountains, get used to it or get out.
After midnight, not many rocks wash past,

the day’s snowmelt already downriver
at Silverton, by now. Runoff at night
is a swish over stones too big to be budged.
Lights out, crawl under covers, let bears

take the slopes, let elk and deer bed down,
let coyotes and mountain lions take charge.
Spring’s much too short to miss. Let summer come,
and floods, rocks topple and block the sluice,

let snowcapped peaks go bald by August.
Let late weeds grow for picas nibbling
above 10,000 feet, silent, ears twitching
for hawks and weasels fast as cats.

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