First trek up the mountain
Dodging snow banks
Assessing winter’s toll

Observing exposed undulations
Curves and formations
Hidden when the aspen leaves
Come on

No sign of the bear
I know she’s gone
One of three highway-killed
Last summer

The marks of her cubs
Scored into the bark
A forever reminder
Of when the bear lived here

She looks good, the mountain
I am her guardian and she is mine
Reverence at spring thaw
Devotion steadfast and abiding

Birdsong and tender shoots
White shafts of the aspen
Standing at ready
Turning to spring at alpine

Waiting and ready