Monday, October 1, 2007

Monday Memory: The Mountains

October 1, 2007

The mountains have always held something inexpressible for me. There are days, like the one above, when I cannot stop looking at them in all their perfect clarity. I can't even believe that there is such magnificent beauty right here in my own world. The photo above is from a hike we took to the Foothills Parkway to watch the sunset last year. I love the way the mountains go on forever beyond Duncan and Patrick.

When we l lived in Iowa for five years, the two things I missed most were our friends/family and the mountains. I can breathe here, great gulps of something wild just at the edge of my view. I wrote this poem during the last of the five years we lived in Iowa. Once or twice a year we would make the long drive from Iowa to Tennessee to visit our family and friends. This stems from those drives.

Seventeen Hours, Give or Take (Driving South)

We count on someday,
coffee on the front porch,
Buffalo Mountain still

in its own black shadow.
We live now
for the next vacation
and the next, driving southeast
and then south and east,
these strange selves

as the farms turn to forests,
corn to tobacco.
Two hours to go
and we are easy again
as if some lethal spell
has been lifted. We unzip

our stiff suits
at the state line
and toss them out the window.
Our skin beneath is warm

and smells greenly of wood.
We can't stop breathing.
(By Sarah Small. Published in Breathing the Same Air, copyright 2001)

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