January,
Driving through Redding Hills

for Crystal
It was so beautiful,
solid white.
Clouds over the east
cleared just enough
for the cone of Mt. Lassen
to ascend.
There it isó
I saw Lassen! she said.
It looks like a cloud
but it's notó 
it's Mt. Lassenó
did you see it?

Yes,
I saw it.
Through the trees
as I drove and turned my head
I saw it.
And I saw you,
Crystal Dawn at sixteen,
exclaiming, excited,
touched by that mountain
I grew up with
and carry in my heart.
Has that mountain
become yours too?
Are you, my daughter,
to be a carrier of the mountain too?

Tomorrow perhaps
the north clouds will part
and Shasta will present itself.
What will you say then?


© 1994 Leslye Layne Russell


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