Back Forty: Montana


Aspen, arrowroot, agate.
Bitterroot, bear grass, barking squirrel,
Camas, Clark’s nuthatch.
Devil’s club. Deer Lodge, Drummond,
Eye of the needle. Emigrant weeds.
Finch. Fireweed. Flatbow people.
Glacier lilies among gray wolves.
Happy birthday, lover of
Indian paintbrush while
Just another June sends endless rain along the
Kootenai. Of silver glaciers, 
Lewis’s woodpecker I sing. Lost Creek.
Magpie. Malachite. Mountain bluebird.
Ninebark. Nine Pipes.
Oregon grape scatter along the outcropping.
Polebridge, you skirt paradise within paradise.
Russian sage. River of dust.
Self-heal. Shasta daisy.
Thirteen moons shine on Two Medicine.
U-shaped upwelling valleys encircle
Valier, Victor,
Wolf Point, anywhere west of the Divide.
X on the gravestone, X on the deed.
Yenne Point, Yellowstone mist.
Zen mountain after Zen meadow after Zen stream.

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