Numb

by Kirsten Pandreigh

Artwork: ‘Fraser in Cascadia’ by Janet Kvammen

Artwork: ‘Fraser in Cascadia’ by Janet Kvammen

 

abrupt gullies lie in wait as we traipse
            rooted trails in invincible raingear

my friends and I fashion beards
            with lichen tugged from trees

while ancient boulders hover on slick slopes above
            we rub coarse cheeks on pillows of moss

and poke at neon fungal brain lobes
            oozing from nurse logs

we pick up slugs
            roll slimy fingers round fiddleheads

buckets clanks as we poach berries
            from unseen bony bears

we dare each other to plunge
            hands in glacial river water

numb we run through blur of trees—
            cedar-pine-cedar-fir-cedar-cedar-yew—

batter cobweb lattice and skid to a stop.
            at the edge the earth crumbles under our weight


Kirsten Pendreigh’s poems appear in Arc Poetry, Prairie Fire, subTerrain, CV2, Juniper Poetry, Sustenance Anthology (Anvil Press) and Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology (Mansfield Press). She's a two-time winner of Whistler's Poet's Pause competition and won the 2018 Pandora’s Collective Poetry Contest. She’s on Twitter @kpiependreigh