The One About Bad Timing

the trunks of these trees form columns the color of fresh brick.
through blank, glittering ice and snow clinging thickly to them,
i see black-green needles hanging limp under the weight.

the earth wearing through on the slope,
rubbed raw by the bootsoles of heavy foot-traffic,
shows the color of georgia clay.
this place is cold, but would surely be beautiful in summer.

broad expanses of frozen mountain foothillsides
flash in the early afternoon sunlight.
they seem closer, smaller and more easily conquered
in the young, bleaching glare.

we climb a steepslick path smoothed to sheet ice
from powdersnow by continuous friction.
later we will ski back down on our sneakers.
there is nothing for us here or anywhere.