Burnt Creek Butte

by David Beisly-Guiotto

Mountain goat
tilts his head. takes
a step closer
across the rhyolite talus
to me hunched
at butte edge.

We stare
for next moves.

another step —
brawny forelegs, sharp
gloss eyes
horns short his third summer.
A new coat dense and
white as the coming snow.

Slowly standing
tall with arms loose
I show who I am.

And he bolts
down the tricky rockslope
skipping over crags and gone
through the canyon that took me
all afternoon to climb.

from Sawtooth Country