You Were With Me

June 12, 2019

We all deal with loss. This piece is based on a vivid memory from a long time ago. A backpacking trip to the Sierras had me thinking, without cessation, about a previous girlfriend . . . 

You Were With Me


For five days 

of impossibly blue Sierra skies,

of scalloped waves in a melting snowfield,

of the thick ribbon of fast clear water, 

you were with me.


The mountains I loved

were never part of your world. 

I climbed,

full of random thought 

upon forever switchbacks, 

watching fluttering memories 

like high meadow butterflies.


Sleepless, under a fishnet of stars and satellites,

fatigue unable to overwhelm thought.

Our discordant echo of failed love

had slowly faded over three years. 

Until your flash flood

crashed down from some high canyon,

and I was swept away 

in a torrent of unremitting worry.


The July third light faded around the council fire.

A well-tuned friend

heard your call 

in my fearful musings.

Reach out, he said,

when we get down.

Could you feel my trepidation,

stronger than gravity itself?


But you had already left.

Your waiting news, my only companion 

on the long bus home.

The droning night highway

cloaked my tears. 

Passing fireworks 

blossomed on windows,

their dripping colors

painting the disparity 

of rain

pooling in my soul.


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About Me

Ever since I knew what an airplane was, a pilot was all I ever wanted to be. Dreams of flying took me to Western Michigan University, where I achieved a degree in Aviation Technology and Operations. . .


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