Motherly Bravado

I am not afraid of mountains.
Do not try to imagine
their dark insides,
glued cold and tight.
Take heart in their solidness.
Have faith they will stay
where we find them,
tamping down the edges of the valley.

I am not afraid of falling trees.
Do not listen in my sleep
for changes to the West wind
or the slant of rain on the window.
Do not stay awake
waiting for the split and wail
of cottonwood or Douglas fir.

I am not afraid of boulders
cracking free of a mountainside
nor of their wild earthward careen
gouging a trail into the river
and then gone,
as if they had been no more than pebbles
flung by a boy with a wild pitch,
wearing black and red boots,
standing on the edge.



(This poem won first prize in the Ontario Poetry Society 2011 'Emerging from the Shadows' contest and appeared in "Emerging Stars: A Contest Anthology")