In the distance, gray mist thickens, velvet

against the foothills of the Sierra.

Where the mountains arch,

plush snow-capes lay in elegant disarray.


Here, all day stillness had spread itself gently

on the budding branches.

Now, wind blows a fickle breath.


In the distance, the mist gathers, knotted clumps,

dark patches quilted with gray frays.

Like a tattered cloak, this blows open

then falls again into tangled folds.


If these gusts continue, new spring blossoms

from the cherry tree may snow.

Earth exhales, its breath a musty wash.


In the distance, the Sierra flings its matted

wool from recalcitrant shoulders.

A slip of silken blue so blue,

so piercingly blue, floats easily beneath.


Here, finches settle into the western trees.

Then all at once

spill joyous arias into the low clouds.


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Copyright 2007 Susan M. Botich