Field Guide for Park Rangers

Chelsea Stockham is a Creative Writing student at Sheffield Hallam University. Her primary passion is poetry.

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
How Yosemite can fit
within these four fragile walls,
stretched across the bedspread
with hip bone peaks pointing
heavenward. You wake to
dawn's open-window woodnote,
ribcage canyon yawning under
conifer air, ridges kissed by misted
breath and lips of florid morning.
How you can trace each trail,
each thick white-water and thin
snow creek scar, by fingernail
and still lose yourself like a boy
scout between the ponderosas.

How Yosemite can fit
in the bathtub and the two-seater
that sheds its leather like pine needles
but never in your arms, never
long enough to hear the chasmic
echo of your heartbeat returned or
to learn the smoke-signal language
or call her yours.

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