ember 11, 1906

On Kenosha Pass

I came to see if the aspens had found any color,
panning in the streaming air
of cooling nights,
yellow ore shivering in the wind at dawn.

The sky, blue steel, could strike sparks
from the flinty eye
of god himself,
light fire to the aspen groves
and smelt fool’s gold among the evergreens.

I turn back into the slant doorway
of the wrecked cabin,
to read its walls,
lined with layers of old newsprint.
I peel the corner of a page from the wall
like bark from an aspen,
read a date—

“ember 11, 1906”

In the month of ember I came as a stranger,
a guest neither welcome
nor unwelcome,
to whisper a few words
among the ghosts
homesteaded on the rocky ground
planted like rows of corn
under makeshift markers and weatherworn stones.

“ember 11, 1906”

Do these ghosts
look to the aspens,
in the month of ember,
in the year of ’06,
knowing that this fool’s gold
is a hard hue to hold,
mountain winter on the way,
and nothing gold can stay?

Posted for Spike. Note that I rip off Robert Frost in a major way at the end.

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One response to “ember 11, 1906

  1. thanks, Boss. I too have ripped Robert in re aspens on Kenosha.

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