Tom’s Lake

[Poems from the Trail]

August, 7, 2017

Segment nine, second day in,

sky overcast, we hunkered down

under blue tarps to wait out a steady rain — 

four grateful women and two stubborn dogs,

or was it four stubborn women and two grateful dogs?

When the rain let up we carried on

through a lush green wilderness - Holy Cross.

Sacred space.


Tom, a hiker coming from the south,

shared with us the names of the wildflowers 

and the lake around the corner where decades

ago, he and his wife-to-be had stripped free from

their clothes and swam in the ice cold water. 

Porcupine Lake.

Today, it’s Tom’s Lake.

Moving on down the trail and Tom leaving north,

Sarah proposes. Tom smiles and says,

”I’ve got my quirks.” But the four of us decided

that a man of the trail who knows the wildflowers

by name and skinny-dips in mountain lakes must 

know a thing or two about love.

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