THE LAKES HAVE BEEN COMING DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINS FOR A LONG TIME

by Cathy Arden on March 22, 2015

Emerald-Pond2

THE LAKES HAVE BEEN COMING DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINS FOR A LONG TIME
In memory of my sister, Doren Arden

It’s already happened, something that occurred
before now
someone’s foot (my foot) slipping into
the yielding forest floor
(there was only rock
on the north side of the mountain
where I have come from)
ankle-deep in fresh growth
ferns bending at my waist
and then the other foot
slipping in too

It is harder this way, climbing down
to a place where I imagine
(all that I had to do, living close
to the jagged peak, was imagine)
lily pads floating around my bare legs
rainwater; warm pools settled into the valley

How impossible to confuse fatigue with desire
but it has only been one year
out of hiding
(timberline; ice water)
and every time I put my ear to the ground
I hear the progress
of your descent on another trail
the long silences during the day
the night struggles

We echo into the same earth

the lakes
have been coming down from the mountains
for a long time

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