There is the moon, its silver hum
filling the valley. There are the wings
of the hummingbird joined in their velocity
at first light, cloud of wing
suspended beside the column
of ruby water.
There are the beaten
boards of the deck finally emerging
from old snow, and the sun
sharpening itself on the cold
stone of the ridge–
all day, it scoops more snow
from Kachina Peak to reveal
grey rock and the few
tiny leaves that can breathe
in thin air. No one
walks those tightrope
heights after the last skier
has relinquished whatever bravado
moved him to leave his
lit rooms at dawn and spend
all day in wind dark with ice.
There is the apple tree–
its snow of new blossoms–
and old snow shrinking from the ridge
where I, too, climbed with
skis on my back and water barely
unfrozen enough to drink.
Already I’m up there again, this time
with compass and binoculars, seeking
a familiar house and vanished deck,
tree emptied of fruit,
glass column emptied of rubies.