mountain moon
on the bank of the dark lake,
under a canopy of fir boughs,
we sleep, turning,
in deep mountain night.

your voice wakes me—
the moon—
as it tips the ridge
across the lake's river arm,
releases its soft silver
down the high hill,
across trees and water,
up the bank and
into our eyes.
we witness
this moon's kiss.

the slow ascent.
now, against large waning white,
the silhouette of two firs
trunks, distinct branches,
black against white,
delicacy against presence.

how is it I have never seen this before?

the moon breaks free,
lets loose the firs below,
rises into the night sky,
widens the path of silver
across the lake.

at our feet, down the bank,
we hear gentle lapping of water
on white sand and rock.
in this cool stillness of dark and light,
it is the only sound.

© 1996 Leslye Layne Russell

This poem was selected to be read by the poet at
the Seventh Annual Shasta College Poetry Festival
November 19, 2005, at Shasta College, Redding, CA

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