Highlake Basin

We woke to snow rimming the horizon.
What last night was a late-fall granite bowl
now is packed up tight. The only traffic,
one small plane that rides the blue wind
overhead, its pilot's eyes far off
and focused. He doesn't see us.
Then the sun-struck fuselage
slips below the snowline. Nothing
mars this perfect white -- not birds,
not marmot tracks. On the map
we trace again the route
back to trailhead, three snow-bound
ridges away, and calculate
our summer-booted chances
against a world grown so winter-magical
and paler than my hand.

Taylor Graham