Coming True

Looking for smokes, Middle Sister Lookout, 1984
Looking for smokes, Middle Sister Lookout, 1984

I wrote this poem when I was 25 years old:

MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME

I will stay here a long time
watching the seasons
until the skin tightens
against the bones of my face.

Until the flesh around my eyes
dries to lined leather

Until I hold still for so long
that my bones send roots into the rocks
and the wind tugs my hair loose,
waving it in a white banner.

Until my eyes grow bright and wise
in their sockets
gathering the blue of the sky
and the gray of the shadows.

Until coyotes becomes so used to me
that they don’t see me
and birds perch on my hands.

Until I am so old
that these peaks and I
forget to keep standing
and find our separate ways to the sea.

Watching the Trail Creek Fire, October 2012
Watching the Trail Creek Fire, October 2012

Today I turn 53, and I’m happy to report that I have been living the poem imagined by my younger self. The skin tightens, the eyes crinkle, the white threads appear in my pigtails. The mountains are still home, perhaps more than ever. The world is terrifying and breathtakingly beautiful. I am beyond grateful for this life and hope I reach the end of the poem with grace and awareness.

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7 thoughts on “Coming True

  1. Happy birthday to an amazing poet/ blogger/ naturalist. I turned 59 on the 12 th and your last line rings so true for me as well.

    Thanks for the gifts of your words.

  2. Deb, happy Birthday! You are one of the most amazing woman I know. There are not many people who can say that thier lives have followed a path set years ago as wonderful as yours has.
    It is such an honor to be counted as a friend or yours. xxoo

    1. Thanks Pat! I sure didn’t know how things were going to turn out when I was young, but so far I have not been disappointed.

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