A Walk
Sunday the only day we don't work: Mules farting around the meadow, Murphy fishing, The tent flaps in the warm Early sun: I've eaten breakfast and I'll Take a walk To Benson Lake. Packed a lunch, Goodbye. Hopping on creekbed boulders Up the rock throat three miles Puite Creek – In steep gorge glacier-slick rattlesnake country Jump, land by a pool, trout skitter, The clear sky. Deer tracks. Bad place by a falls, boulders big as houses, Lunch tied to belt, I stemmed up a crack and almost fell But rolled out safe on a ledge and ambled on. Quail chicks freeze underfoot, color of stone Then run cheep! away, hen quail fussing. Craggy west end of Benson Lake – after edging Past dark creek pools on a long white slope – Lookt down in the ice-black lake lined with cliff From far above: deep shimmering trout. A lone duck in a gunsightpass steep side hill Through slide-aspen and talus, to the east end, Down to grass, wading a wide smooth stream Into camp. At last. By the rusty three-year- Ago left-behind cookstove Of the old trail crew, Stoppt and swam and ate my lunch. Gary Snyder