Ghost trails

 

It’s that time of year again – the light longer in the canyon, the wind gusting in the spruce trees. Walking on our old snowshoe trail, its rounded track still intact while the snow has melted all around it, I remembered this poem I wrote many years ago now.  It was for a friend, Margaret Churchill (now Oversby) who was moving away from beside Driftwood Creek. I remembered it too when I was writing a yet unpublished novel – I called these remnant trails ghost trails, and so decided give the novel the same name. It’s out there now, looking for a home.

 

vapour trail

down on the snowbound creek
I see the tracks your skis left
already blurring

like the vapour trail we watched that day up high
our skis clattering on ice

it rose from behind the mountain
thrusting across the bitter sky                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       our faces lifted to winter blue
we watched in silence

the vapour trail
softened into a path
as fat and indolent as the wake of a summer boater

 it made you hot you said
let’s get moving

it was kind of you to include me in that let’s

I stooped to gather
wind-smoothed shells of ice
weathered like shards of glass tossed up by ancient waves

I snapped a fragile tether
and then another
and another

stored them carefully in a pocket
as if they would not melt

3 thoughts on “Ghost trails

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