Four Below Zero

Iridescent air,
the outside of a pearl, and
inside, you and I.

Sunshine in the pines,
we stop to play with light, cold
lashes blink rainbows.

Afloat with you, I
cannot remember feeling
a love quite this way.

On the white road home,
extremities succumb, and
on the inside, warmth.

Prospect Bowl

This is the freedom
that is yours. Yes, the wind
that roars to lift you away,
skis mounted on your shoulder
like a kite unfurling with each blast.
Yes, the ridge line that grabs
your boots and dangles
you over the seamless
sky. Yes, the icicles that grow
between the nose and mouth,
your watering eyes,
and frozen hair forgotten.
And yes, the rush
of silence as your skis hang
over nothing before tipping
into white gravity. Yes,
the motion of the body, the stillness
of the mind. Yes, the wanting. Yes,
the stepping outside. Yes, the giving
of yourself to this. Yes, the falling,
the surrender, the touching
of a beauty that could breathe
your life – yes,
yes, yes.

The Way

Something about loss
found me deep
inside these woods
between sunlight
and the shadows,
under the cold white summit
that breaks bread
only with the wind.

I took her ashes to the top last summer,
but this is not
about my grandmother –
not even about my father not yet
laid to rest – it is about the way
this life moves through us. It is
the once familiar path
now changed.

It is these skis
that push through newly fallen
snow and the tracks of deer.

It is what remains.

It is breaking
trail high on a Rocky Mountain mesa
because the signposts
have been buried
and maybe this is exactly
what we were born to do.