You didn’t believe it was real—
those falls cascading between peaks.
Your mind kept insisting
you were facing a painting.
Go there and see before it burns away.
Let yourself marvel at a twelve-foot wall
of wine jugs, a pyramid erected to celebrate
some Danish rock climbers’ conquest
of El Capitan.
Remember how you posed next to a tree
wider than your house.
Recall how Japanese children
clambered over rocks
in the middle of the Merced.
Appreciate the rugged hiking boots
that kept you sturdy on the rocky trail.
Have you watched the news lately?
Trees older than this country
may fall to the fire.
How will the world ever learn
those ancient songs?
Roberta Schultz is a singer songwriter, teacher and poet originally from Grant’s Lick, KY. Her poems and song lyrics have appeared in Women Speak, Vol.7, Sheila-Na-Gig, Panoplyzine, Riparian, Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Kakalak and other anthologies. Three of her chapbooks, Outposts on the Border of Longing, Songs from the Shaper’s Harp, and Touchstones were published by Finishing Line Press. Her latest chapbook of poetry, Asking Price, was accepted by Workhorse Writers for their 2022 series. Underscore, her first full- length collection, was published by Dos Madres Press in May 2022. You can find out way more than you’d want to know about her at robertaschultz.com and raison3.com.