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 I remembered it too when I was writing a yet unpublished novel – I called these remnant trails ghost trails, and so decided give the novel the same name.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.
down on the snowbound creek
I see the tracks your skis left
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
stored them carefully in a pocket
as if they would not melt
I love it. Thanks for sharing. And GHOST TRAILS is a fantastic title–pulls me to the novel right off the bat. Luck and speed in finding its home!
Oh, the beautiful poignancy of those last two lines.
Thanks, Leslie. Ice is such amazing stuff – so solid and implacable and then…gone.