M. R. Smith

Montana

Pale aspen haunt the slope

above me like spiny ghosts.

Descending fog drags the fall

howl of elk. Below I hear our dog,

our truck, our screen door slam.

I watch the dun of dad’s Carhartts

pass beneath the barn light.

Nothing that moves is comforting,

not the slow slide of the moon falling,

not the drone of the morning tractor.

I’m going to move up the mountain

where I can’t feel the farm any longer.

Every year I am trying to get higher.