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The car wound through the Rocky Mountains.
the view was devastating.
a 1000 foot drop hung
over the side of the road.
mountain peaks scratched the clouds above.
chasms opened up to the center of the earth.
we pulled over to have a picnic.
there was a stream nearby, with
gold rocks on the banks.
“That’s the run off from the gold mining,”
Sophie’s dad explained.
“The stream here is polluted. You can’t
We ate cheese, crackers, pickles . . .”
“Look up on the mountain,” Sophie said,
“there are people up there.”
men like ants clung to the side of the
mountain. some dangled from ropes.
there was a certain madness there,
a need, as it were, to laugh in the face
one way or another, we were all
clinging to the side of a rock.
a blue jay flew over and watched us
from a branch.
I threw it some bread. it swooped down
and ate that then,
I threw it some more bread then
we were on our way again,
twisting and turning down
the mountain side.