After the Storm, Banff National Park

Day after the storm, the mountains
dig themselves out, clear their ears, noses,
spruces shudder under the new weight,
the raven, sober again, flies in a straight line.

It’s twenty below.
The sun scrubs the sky with child-like gusto,
the slopes furry, bears dozing after a good meal.
Great-great-grandma invented God on a day like this,
an excuse to lift up her voice ave ave
gloria in excelsis!

A few steps forward, then back.
I study the imprints left in the snow.
Such distinct stride.
Who was it that walked this way –
a woman of wisdom?
feather brain?

My thumb, the ink in my pen, frozen, I move on.
The shadow leading me flaps its arms
in an attempt to fly; fingers cum wing tip feathers,
large hooded head, clunky torso, it’s an owl on stilts,
followed by a two-legged camera,
each step a walk-through photo.

Solitary cloud lingers over a valley plush
with a billion trees,
welcome rest after the push ‘n shove.
Two gray wolves rub their flanks
against my shin in search of a good word,
I take the pen out of my mouth.

~ Anna Mioduchowska

Poet, translator, author of stories, essays and book reviews, Anna Mioduchowska has lived in Edmonton most of her life. Her most recent work appears in: Edmonton on Location, River City Chronicles, published by NeWest Press, Writing the Terrain, a poetry anthology, U of Calgary Press, and Dance the Guns to Silence : 100 poems for Ken Saro Wiwa, by Flipped Eye Publishing in London England. Her collection of poetry, In-Between Season, was published by Rowan Books.

One Response to “After the Storm, Banff National Park”

  1. A very nice piece. Another one of those, I wish I wrote that!

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