Home Beside the weathered garden gate Down at the old home place, A withered wildflower Lies peaceful and still, Too faded, too weak to bare its face. The intrepid spirit of fragrant youth Fell languid beneath the sun; A pale and weary traveler, Whose race was briefly run. The barren earth is warm at last...

His brother grew smaller and smaller as the train pulled away. Finally, there was nothing left. He remembered the scene while standing in the modest darkness of a summer dusk on a hillside north of Deer Lodge, Montana, silent like his nearby friends as they listened to, and even slightly felt, nighthawks diving and swooping past like half-glimpsed truths....

I want to catch a big fish the biggest a trout with a heavy wide tail big eyed and a big mouth a fish I can be proud of a legacy trout something to never again match or forget I want a fish that ends it all but not quite yet...

Deep in the woodpile I pull chunks of myrtle for an evening fire, winter holding on. When the fire blazes I notice a wasp, months asleep, in a dusty crease. Do I wait for it to unfurl and stumble into this false spring? Brush it off outside for a chance? Crush it with the poker? I ponder...

As if not everything had rusted, dry wheat bent from seed. A split rail fence, its three crows panting. Each mountain division was lit up or about to be. Summer staggered, antlers locked. Lamb’s ear and mullein root suckled. I stood beneath a lodgepole ribcage, smoke-blind. If you come back as the...

In the beginning, at the kitchen table, my three children with paper and crayons, shoulders bent low and hands fisting the task before them. Lo, through the wide windows the morning shown down upon artistic intentions, and the sun’s slant rays rained a glittered drift of pine pollen, spray of stardust, as pages...

There are times sitting in the meadow, listening to wind across brown grass, watching end-of-day light travel end-of-summer mountains, when I feel so certain this is the right place — my life has at last turned to face what should and what must be faced — that even the possibility of a grizzly...

On the porch like night peelings, bags of red hackles. The fisherman is dressing, capes of moose mane around him. In his vise, he wraps the waist of a minnow with chenille. We wade downstream. I am barefoot. The fisherman stands, thigh deep, seining insects. Perhaps today in this blizzard of cottonwood it is the caddis that...

The wind is howling. But also mewling. Ornate wicker feelings rip loose and tear off down valley. Cabin: half buried in snow. Bed springs: if I were dead these would still creak. Blankets: could use another. A bruised light through lace curtains, maybe a baby’s finger of bourbon in the bottle. Something small’s...

Predator eye honed, since turning BB-gun-five, to its feathered edge, I catch the ruffed grouse flashing its neon-red failure to blend into the November gray- black bed of quaking aspen leaves matching the bird’s mottled jacket not quite exactly. It cocks its head, eyes me up and down, crouches, stretches, sets sleek-plumed for the raucous launch that trips...

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