Fan Mountain

Fan Mountain Poem Outside Bozeman

Fraizer Basin by Ella Kuzyk

Forgive me, Father, for it has been
Too long since I stepped in the river
Let the water wash away dry foxtails
Tighten my skin with the spring runoff
And reward us for the snowbound winter

I want to hear the chirp of gophers by thistles
A diamondback’s rattle that is a shaking inhale
Layered behind the endless gurgle of rocks
Being tumbled through a slice of land
Turned to water by scraping ancient glaciers

They call it Big Sky country out here
The Milky Way shines like spilled diamonds
A mirror of the ghost lights that flicker
In the mouth of mines, dancing like snow spirits
That swirl under Alpine’s two-seat lifts

Take me back to the emerald of Cliff lake
On a gauzy July afternoon when the water is glass
Let the ash from the fire dust my hair as warm snow
Where crawdads flit between dappled boulders
And a volcano sleeps uneasily below my hiking boots

Let me run my fingers over a cutthroat’s soft scales
Under a sky that holds the dust and hills hostage
With clouds racing forward like elk from a wolf
Wind holds me to the river, rocks anchor me like a ship
In a silver ribbon that binds the land together like a gift

All huddled in the shadow of Fan Mountain
On the shore of the river that brings me to prayer
Where I am a trout on the line, being dragged back
By an invisible line pulled over waves like soft sage
Pulled back see the mountain turn to lilac by the sun