The locals call it “The Leap”,
that red granite ledge high
on the palisade — up there,
reached only by torn hands
and thin sensible shoes.
A lip of giddy summer flight,
of swallows and boys, stalls and
swift plunges into the cool pool
below: the girls aghast, bikinied,
smirking in their palms. Up there,
A juniper unknots and pries
the cold salmon stone, digs.
It’s done so for years — clung there,
a stanchion for boys and bravado,
a swing and a strain, a stain on the sky.
Twice yearly the moon,
orange and pocked, pities and pours
into the bowl of its limbs — fills it
so briefly, before flowing away.
Twice yearly, the sun scalds
its bleached gnarled bones —
and these are the good times.
In Autumn, when the blue
and shrivelled berries fall, silent
onto the creek, unsown; when frost
begins to crimp and needle, and snow
begins to crush the stone, when
all that falls, neither leapt nor thrown,
cracks upon the ice alone —
these too, are the good times.