Today feels like a good day for a poem.
I wrote “Balanced Rock, Big Bend National Park” after my first trip to Big Bend in March of 2011. In November of 2013, I was visiting the park for the second time when I received word that my poem had won first place in the Poetry Society of Texas‘ Derry Tutt Memorial Award. Both the honor and the coincidence brought me great joy. The poem was published in PST’s A Book of the Year 2014, and now I’d like to share it with you here.
Balanced Rock, Big Bend National Park
Light lays down
on the outcropping of stone
vertical peaks rise smaller, smaller
desert dragons sleeping beneath the surface.
Twilight creeps up from behind
drops the temperature
like it was an accident
nudges thoughts to posted warnings
moves mind from buried beasts
to live ones.
Hiking down is never the same—
shadows alter landscapes
scoot boulders, shift footpaths.
Shoe slips on loose gravel
Two buzzards perch on cliff edge
Dusk in my eyes
a rock clutched tight in my fist
wonder if the mountain lions
© Carie Juettner
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