Friday, December 14, 2007

The First Supper


A wind swept mountain trail
that twisted back on itself
like a garden snake;
white wooden fingerlings
peroxided by the sun;
roots exposed,
thrusting rawly up,
no longer hidden
in the red rocky earth;
on a hillside
where Goliath staggered,
breaking logs, and trees, and brush;
in a thick sea
of wild lillies and huckleberries,
providing shelter
for creatures that burrow and hide;
reigning high above the ragged clouds
where the sky is eternally blue,
where tiny fir and pine
are dwarfed by passing deer,
where cold crisp air awaits,
where clear pools of glacier water
mirror the mountains,
where grass is the only floral arrangement,
and yellow-brown moss clings
to great gray boulders.

Close to the top
with the horizon in four directions,
perched precariously
on dry stout timbers,
with silver steel cables stretched taunt
between them,
a ranger lookout
rested tall.
A place for the seekers of fire,
locked up now,
while the rangers probably were walking
quietly down
in the deep green of the forest below.

Two invaders emerged
from the nearby glacier
and broke into the tower.

They rooted through the equipment,
radios, maps, dials, binoculars,
like starving birds;
ravaging the cupboards
until they found
a can of peaches
and an old cloth-covered canteen.

they consumed
the warm tastless water
and several soft mushy peaches
in thick sweet syrup;
a mountain communion
sans bread or blood,
between two people not yet lovers,
that soon would be,
for years to come,
after the immediate gathering storm clouds
and howling winds,
had run them off the mountain,
scurrying like field mice,
rushing down through the rocks,
had ebbed,
and the molten orb of love
had risen,
and their lips had hung heavy
with morning dew,
and their eyes had caught the glimmer
of early light,
like a cat does the night's.

Glenn Buttkus 1967

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