"Snow clouds descending..."
“Snow clouds descending, timeless silence reigned…”

Winter park trails of Isle au Haut, snow
Clouds descending, timeless silence
Reigned over forest and my presence
Amongst spruce trees, rambling streams,
Scenic craggy coastlines frequented by
Summer tourists. First flakes falling,
Sifting through tree branches, evoking
Breeze-quiet voice, “I am here.” As much
Heard as felt, it spoke again, “Here I am.”

“As am I,” I whispered to gentle motion,
Illuminating thick stand of trees. For few
Moments, we said nothing, our quiet
Acceptance of each other, taking Oreos
From my jacket pocket, offering placed
On nearby stone to form-gathering voice.
“Who are you child?” I asked to floating
Light not quite shoulder high. “Life lost
To winter snows, like falling on this day.”

She moved next to me, adolescent girl,
Ghostly flesh touching my gloved hand,
Memories imparted, family in wooden
Boat taking refuge on Isle au Haut, Irish
Names as familiar as my own, slate snow
Clouds like these above, dropping wet,
Paralyzing snow, path covered from shore
To distant cabin lights, stumbling upon
Ice-slick rocks, overwhelmed by cold.

“My name is Gemma,” I offered, “Ranger
At this park.” Effort to speak I felt welling
Within, “I am Eibhlin, if you do not leave
Now, you will die. Seen it I have in scudding
Clouds.” I took another bite of Oreo, rocky
Shoreline lost to white curtain. “Come with
Me,” I said, “I will take you home.” For an
Instant, I felt Eibhlin move within, lure of
Tasting half-chewed Oreos.

"For months now, Eibhlin or Elaine and I have been as one..."
“For months now, Eibhlin or Elaine and I have been as one…”

For months now, Eibhlin or Elaine and I
Have been as one, with and within me.
This I could not deny her for saving me
From dangerous hike in knee-deep snows,
Blanketing Isle au Haut. Like 100 years ago,
Descending clouds and freezing wind,
Elaine died in Maine cold, harsh memories
Faded in safety of my cabin, woodstove
Warmth, life lost and regained with Oreos.

Inspired by mid-morning Lunchables with two mini-
Oreos (not too many!). For more on hiking at Acadia
National Park trails at Isle au Haut, see:
https://www.nps.gov/acad/planyourvisit/duckharbor.htm

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