In the Big Thompson River Valley
My son is twelve and barefoot near the headwaters
of the Rowe Glacier’s summer melt. We’re here.
We lived. Mud cools our feet, and is soft. The river
bends, and we follow it along the meadow. Its speed
blurs the deep boulders. Flooded grasses bow
downstream, lit and green and waving.
Hours drift like silt here. Everything moves,
and we move with it. There is no comparing
enormities. The boreal toad is its own immensity
where glaciers grind the rusted ridges that ring us
and sink to valleys. A bull elk pauses
in the tall grass of the basin where goldfinch
gather alder seeds and spider silk for late
summer nests. Water moves mica-flecked dirt
grain by grain. Thistledown floats so lightly by,
it changes the way I think of slow.