By Melody Newey Johnson


Legs like waterfowl, I scramble, almost fly the first steep rise on the path from scrub oak into evergreens, their fallen needles, fallen trunks: initiation into forest leaning against itself, losing itself, branch by branch — a mountain holding itself together with pine sap 

scent lifting my 10-year-old wings like aspen leaves — flutter, tremble, almost fly toward groves of white bark bruised black with love letters weeping resin memory where ferns wild into fields where nettles sting

or snow slides if spring comes late: trees bend low, praying for a mountain holding itself together with aspen roots and footprints: the almost path: rocks too hard to climb would turn me back if not for that blue sky, the almost-there, these wings, the sound of water.

Melody Newey Johnson is a poet and nurse living in Salt Lake City. She grew up in the embrace of Mount Timpanogos, and its trails served as both nursemaid and map of the world. Her debut poetry collection, “An Imperfect Roundness,” was published in 2020.