Trudging uphill, I turn onto a deer path
then follow the switchbacks you marked
with orange streamers until I arrive
at a cairn and overlook where I view
the gold run of cottonwoods through the city;
western tanagers migrate through the city.
As I bask in the heat of the afternoon,
I cannot say I had the courage
to march on a bridge for the right
to vote and be beaten; at an antiwar rally,
I retreated when police, mounted on horses,
crossed the street with batons swinging.
As I stride down the switchbacks, I can’t
put into words the radiance of this day;
I stop at a robin’s nest lined with mud
fallen in the grass and scintillate
when at night we step into the yard
and stare up through apple branches at stars.