THE COLD, CERTAIN TIMES

THE COLD, CERTAIN TIMES
Along the treeline, bare patches filled the dry spaces
Between the rocks and the snowy mountaintop. The trail
Cut close to the edge, below, a thousand feet drop back to
The parking lot. The birds numbered few this high up,
But they watch, still.

A few weeks past, floods hit the mountain, towns below nearly
Swept by and limber students from nearby schools were drafted
To help clean the roads.
In March, such hikes were done, but prohibitive-
Bears might return, bobcats were a danger, and
The cold beat though the warmth with pummeling firmness,
While the riverbed presented a dangerous line for us to pass
No matter how fit, or used to the exercise.

Afterwards, a conversation was heard near the trash bins
Concerning the recent events in Washington.
Threats were heard, and promises to defriend were passed back and forth
Like the water bottles we shared back on top.
Their gestures were crude, their language and arguments reminders why
The protest would ultimately fail.

The birds didn´t care for the policies or their pain,
Somewhere soon, beside a towering rock, under a tree,
By the side of the trail, perhaps, up there
They would find their pickings,
That at least, was certain.

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