In Montana, (“like mountains!”)
Home of bears and wolves
And pale blue, green, purple Montana sapphires
And the periwinkle flower, 3 inches in the ground with fibrous roots
vinca major, and vinca minor
A woman spends the summer in service
of Glacier National Park
Above Bowman lake
Her eyes trained for fires
At 7 in the morning
The mountains’ reflection are perfect on the lake
I barely slept fearful we would be too late to make the cut
A limited number of people are allowed in –
we arrived first, not last
And made coffee and eggs on the beach
Andrew fished and taught me to cast
Full of fear that I would hook one of us in the legs
We overheard an off duty ranger
Tell some early hikers
Of the woman who lives above the trees
And about the bears
“Berries are in season
Don’t get between them and the huckleberry bushes and you will be fine
Three people died in the backwoods of the park this week
People don’t understand that this is the wilderness”
Our fire watcher goes up in the early summer
A mule packed with her most basic supplies
Up into the mountain and her cabin on stilts
And for four months she watches for fire
Her supplies meant to spread, stretch the summer
She watches the clouds and
reads what is white and what is grey
What is fire and what is storm
Smoke versus cumulus
I am child stomping through puddles
Thinking of taking her place, her summer job

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