– for Carol
Stippled spray of fireweed and hawkweed
against teal and rose argillite delights
hikers beneath the Garden Wall, yes,
but careful pole plants and foot falls help
avoid the thin path’s slick stones
and surprising shoots through snow
drifts across the trail where mistaken steps
in the slush may give way to a different,
more desperate view – the thousand-foot
tumble down the sheer divide over
a vast ocean of rolling cloud, surfing
a gulf of blurred beargrass, toadflax, monkeyflower.
Larry Pike’s poetry and fiction has appeared in The Louisville Review, Seminary Ridge Review, Caesura, Exposition Review, Vitamin ZZZ, and Capsule Stories, among other publications. He has work forthcoming in Jelly Bucket. He lives in Glasgow, Kentucky.