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...

Along the trail I think how risky the venture, the signs that say don’t go alone into bear country. I can see miles except in aspen. Walking uphill in sage I think of Yellow Woman, of the stranger who finds her and takes her into another life. It’s after that,...

Some days clouds drift over the canyon, horsetails, bits of high cotton. In the afternoon, then, the sky quickens, tumbles — a dark creek crashing down the mountain. Other days from ridge to ridge there’s only a high, dry, guileless blue, and you can fairly hear the meadow grass breathe. You could say, I...

As a consequence of moving forward The river bottom stirred,     unwound, then circled your ankles downstream. I had to wrap my fingers     around either side of hawthorn to steady against spring run-off. Stoneflies broke     into shaky flight. I laid orange peels     beside their split, grey husks.     Lost sight of you mending into a...