EXCERPTS


AT NICKEL CREEK

Robert Burlingame

(for Joseph Rice)


A while ago we walked
     up to where you’d stayed,
          old friend

we saw where you’d slept
     blue-blanketed narrow bed
          and the glassed wide doorway
you’d gazed through onto the mountain

the first night it rained
     thunder rolled and rumbled
          as you told us later,
your face a smile but serious

we had gathered my poems
     hundreds on white sheets, poems
          reaching back
half a century

but what you remembered most
     was the fierce wind
          out of the pass
and the stars over the mountain’s slopes
that, too, is a poem, you said.

Poems used with permission of the authors, and may not be re-used without their permission.