At Lake Ozette

We pitched our tents at Rialto,

then hiked north past Hole-in-the-Wall,

past the Chilean Memorial,

looped around Cape Johnson

and moved inward to Lake Ozette,

where we rested.


On the way back we clambered over

rocks in the dark, got trapped

by the tide, and had to spend the night

in shorts by a fire.


But back, finally, at our tents,

cooking pancakes, what I remembered –

and remember now most –

is my reading a poem, not my own,

at the lake, and faltering,


who was I to read such a thing?

And your gently urging me on,

as though you could know and love in me

what I couldn’t yet love

in myself.


For John Daniels

And for Shelley and Darryl