Snow in Summer

Even in August, there was still snow
in the mountains—hard, granular snow,
tucked in around the rocks. And fields
of glacial snow that melted slowly,
feeding alpine lakes that stayed ice cold,
too cold to test the depths of,
even on a summer afternoon. And yet
even then life rose up to silver the water
and find the light there, in the little lakes
of the Snowy Range, west of Laramie.

Lake Marie was where Ed swore his sobriety
to his girlfriend's stern-faced daughter
in the front seat of the daughter's red pickup.
There by the lake, he promised
he'd be a good husband to her mother,
said he was done drinking, period.

The rest of us sat along the shoreline
with our beers and our nacho Doritos,
licking the salty orange powder from our fingers.
We didn't cast our lines, just blinked
in the clear sunlight, caught somewhere
between here and there,
not yet knowing what love could do.

back to issue