The Back Wall

Olivia hikes by.
Some follow, others cry.
She lured us
Upward, oh so high. 

Climbing chert
She scales the cirque.
Quads afire
We all kick higher.

Off the top
She does her hop.
A cadenced thing,
She floats, she swings. 

We’ll follow Her,
Forever off-piste
She was best,
We the least. 

Fresh snow,
blue skies
Reef ridge,
true eyes.

We hear
Her siren call
Forever echo
Off the Back Wall.

This winter,
She skis the Moon
Stranding us down here.
Gone too soon.

Now in rhythm
Above reality
She skis forever
Lost to infinity… 

Sid Gustafson is a novelist, veterinarian, and the Pope of Church Street, where he resides. Olivia Buchanan was an MSU snow-science major who died in an avalanche last January.