The Creek; April 17
I did not want to go into the woods that day.
The snow had not melted.
Spring-break at outdoor school
felt more like Christmas in the mountains.
Instead of pulling on my smile,
playing my part as chief enthusiast,
I took a deep breath
spoke quietly, said little,
led my students
into the tender pinewoods.
We broke from the trees
to winter-grey skies, and wind.
Snow blew across the meadow,
the bent grass-tops
long emptied of seed
broke through the new spring snow,
Tumalo creek rushing
past the dead burned stumps
of salvaged trees,
their charred frames
stark above the white snow.
“This is beautiful.” Someone said,
“This is so, beautiful?” He said again,
slowly, looking at me for an answer.