Opening The Cabin In March

That's why we're here,
that fish-hook coupling of claws
and bodies tumbling love-locked
down and around between mountains,
bald eagles flicking sparks off

as they fall.Seconds from death,
they flap massive wings
and rise ninety feet and dive
like children climbing a slide.
How many nights on the plains

have we longed to be here
on this rock cliff, stone cabin
stuck like Velcro to granite,
snowed in at the edge of the world.
Miles across deep valleys,

glaciers crush the boulders.
Sipping cold coffee for hours,
we rock on the deck and stare,
and swear they never move.
Decades since we found this cabin,

backpacking on our honeymoon,
not even breathing hard,
able to stand at the ledge
and look down, not even dizzy,
boots new and backpacks balanced,

watching for eagles and hawks
across that wide Montana world,
for dish-faced grizzlies
digging out of caves and swaying,
blinking in the light.

by Walt McDonald

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