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,

embarrassed:

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

What in the name of Sam Hill?

His highway 14 is a string of lights

in this fog, and the river is only

just now visible. Back at the manse

he’s stuck in a frame looking

at his books, the neat sets he

never read, and wonders if he

ought to’ve.

Given his druthers he’d be not in the frame

and not on the road,

but on the terrace overlooking the river,

where no one is rushing around

trying to make, make, make it

before they die.