The Bald Hills Trail Shortcut

Off the fire road gravel
the twisted pine roots
grasp gray limestone
through a dusting of dead needles.
Two hikers sweat and slog
into cool cerulean blue.
Ridges fringe the lake.
A toy boat plies the waters.
Glaciers cling to distant peaks,
glisten in the summer sun.

Two lovers toe to toe
on a carpet of heather,
glacier lilies, Indian paintbrush,
split-leaf annika, marigold,
powder-blue butterflies.
But when the storm blows in
they scamper for the parking lot,
a sudden sleet face clench
north wind poncho clutch
soggy socks shivering descent.

Two years later in Edmonton,
up above the fireplace
a photograph, a gnarled tree
doubled over on a ridge
beckons them back
with its one bent finger.

~ Gary Garrison

Gary Garrison is currently president of the Edmonton Stroll of poets. He has been writing poems for patients at the U of A hospital in Edmonton for the last four years.

Read more of Gary Garrison’s poetry:

Coal Comfort
Northern Alberta Railway

One Response to “The Bald Hills Trail Shortcut”

  1. The imagery here, as in “Gallstones,” painful yet always precise, carrying us through the piece and into some form of new understanding, however disturbing that might be. I’m reminded in a positive way of the insights, open and closed at once, of Rimbaud’s later work.

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