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Books: Writing the West (Summer 2013)

Literary reviews of the Northern Rockies

Back 40: Summer One Afternoon

Poetry by Max Hjortsberg

Written by Max Hjortsberg  

Max Hjortsberg

Other Contributions

Back 40: Summer One Afternoon
January 2013


Nestled in the floodplain
amidst the dense grasses
I lay on my back
head in the sand
even though I don’t like the texture.
I said I was going fishing,
but instead I brought
a bottle of Spanish red.
Drunk among the sedges
daydreaming with the clouds,
I’m unnoticed by a party of rafters
floating by, brightly colored,
festooned with sunburn.
They too like the clouds
once a shape, now soon gone.
The trout in the river
have no word for gravity
and don’t understand why
they feel so heavy in my hand.
I thought I could learn
their language, but I
kept having to come up for air.
It’s better to lie on the earth
and stare into the sky,
eventually life quits waiting
and bustles on
without you.