until you wince as you lift your left leg and place
your bare foot on the folding patio chair.
In one hand you hold a heavy-duty toenail clipper,
in the other a wire cutter.
Your back pirates profanities at the hard work of
old nails—tough as week old sourdough.
Clippings fly through air to grass, which reminds me
of that July we tossed bread crumbs off South Sister,
how we skimmed scree and corn snow with packs
of heavy gear and warm beer.
Ravenous, we tallied peaks up and down that Cascade
spine of fire—St. Helens, Adams, Hood, Thielsen.
So sure, in those slick-skinned days, this was the only
age we would travel.
Carey Taylor is the author of The Lure of Impermanence (Cirque Press 2018). Her poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and she has a Master of Arts degree in School Counseling. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon and when not outdoors, blogs at: https://careyleetaylor.com.