Winter in the Rockies

Is this heaven? Hidden
highways. An avalanche. Nothing
around for miles to hear tires
leave the road. The mountains
bow, back-lit by white skies. I walk
& wonder if I walk for any reason
except to walk. My father,
drenched in drifting snow, was left
here. Yet I can’t say I’m closer
to the truth about loss than I was
as a child when the world I saw
was a world that doesn’t ache
to be anything else. It’s funny
how easy it is to forget
the sound of water in winter. I lay down
on the banks alongside the frozen
lake. Its long body, still. But
I’m listening now, as water
like a sleeping child wrestles
with the blankets pulled over
its face, waiting to see
which one of us will wake.

From Thaw (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Copyright © 2017 by Chelsea Dingman. Used with the permission of the author.