High Water at Lower Junction

Circa 1976


With the river calling

and the snowflakes falling

I stretch my stride to the easy downhill track,

Skolaun behind me

and the fantails find me

and my pack is balanced lightly on my back.


At the bridge of thunder

with the torrent under

foaming and boiling, daring a dog to swim,

his eyes enquire

I walk the wire

ferry my pack and then go back for him.


Each step is numbered

my arms encumbered

below the roaring water seems remote.

Without a quiver

he views the river

trusting our friendship in disaster’s throat.


At the bridge’s ending

with the track ascending

I set him down with a smile for the watching fates

My spirits sharing

he bounds uncaring,

looks back for me, and pointedly, he waits.