At the tree line, McCabe Lake sinks
into a short, stony plateau. The roots
of scattered White pine race
the rock for a hold. Above
looms the stark Sierra's crest.
That night we rest in a cold bowl of stone,
dark lake at our feet, moonless solitude
pressing with the frigid clarity of stars.
It's like we've discovered another planet,
uninhabited, a planet gone rock -
granite at its base, granite at its peaks,
we in between. Your hand touches mine
as we talk of the red-tailed hawks seen earlier:
how one, then the other, leads -
drifting, circling, breaking for a new thermal,
rising in a deepening blue.