First snow of the season.
Helicopters hover a deafening.
Aspen leaves tumble trouble
from trees, crunch underfoot.
For three days I camp
near Search & Rescue.
Each new crew, every eight hours,
asks the same questions:
What was she wearing?
Cotton? No. Wool. What did she carry?
Apple, sandwich, bottle of water,
pack, sleeping bag, tent.
A chaplain asks, Was she depressed?
An old friend arrives on his horse.
Day two: someone brings her children.
They weep with leaf-fall under aspen.
A brother calls, troubled about foul play.
And bear. Brings a rifle and flares.
After the third evening, she listens
to the low engine growl of a search plane.
Savvy and hungry, she waves a flashlight
inside her thin, orange nylon tent.
Later, she said, the four brave St. John’s
rescuers sounded like an approaching army.
We meet at the border between the lost
and found. We join at the watershed.
The deepest reunion is that radiance,
a coming back from the dead.