July in the sierra, but to my eyes September
Golden grasses and withered pines blanket
browned-out districts where once flourished glorious
green boroughs of meadow and mosses.
Abandoned stones in dry beds whispering
rumors: once I ran swift and strong. The main
courses still go, more elemental types
of their flooded selves. All things dry, dusty,
Gritty in the rolling heat of brazen
skies — save the shimmering thickets of young
aspens twisting their turned-up trunks along
slopes where avalanches thundered years ago.
But I too am not as I expected.
Passing years, seasonal droughts and storms mark
Steps taken, paths trod; goings up, down, round;
Washouts rerouted, reparied, and rebuilt.
The rock remains: weathered but strong, rooted
Deep, reaching high against foul skies and fair.
-Andy Cornett, July 2021