chipmunk and eagle The Rockies
Walt McDonald

We try not to lean too far
over miles of white water
thousands of feet straight down.
We're halfway between indignity
and prayer, bumped by clumsy others

gawking on the rockrim trail.
Signs warn Don't feed the chipmunks,
begging at 10,000'. Impatient as toddlers,
they scurry off and tug bread crusts
from rocks, and sit, nibbling to show us

how it's done. A contrail etches the sky
like a diamond across blue glass.
A red-tailed hawk glides wide
above the valley of Horseshoe Park,
cars like fleas parked near elk--

yes, elk, seen with binoculars.
We're back again after decades--
honeymoon, then babies and teenagers,
last year the grandkids. And now
we're alone again in spring,

snow by the road twice as tall as the car.
Magpies dive and chipmunks scatter
as if all birds are hawks that glide
over a valley of furry rodents,
deciding which one, which one is next.

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