Two Poems

On the Ice-Age Trail

Claw-marks of a dead glacier,
kettles where its drool pooled,
rocks dropped from loosened paws
like beads of sweat where ice
relinquished its last grip on earth
to go the way of mammoths.

Ravaged landscape stitched by
trees and trails, gashes of ravines
gilded by maples, gouges and
rope scars opening vistas onto
vegetation’s transformations of
blank sky with shards of color.

Scrambling, gravel-small, from
clouds’ verge to pines’ pitch, to
bogs, empty kettles, path’s decline
and lift along the sides of steep
ridges and hills, skidding, sliding
crunching, climbing, trying to

go lightly over healing, harsh,
resilient earth, through clefts,
up shoulder-blades, down shins
to arthritic toes, I feel in my
bones how doggedly those ice-
age glaciers excavated stones. 



What if the ridge
I hike is actually
the spine of a
mammoth beast
of Earth walking
at the same pace
under my feet,
not fleet but steady
in its time migra-
tion, infested with
acorns and loose
rocks, wet leaves
concealing ribs
to trip me up, my
bareback stunt so
treacherous I’m
lucky as I age just
clinging like a flea
to Earth’s scraggly
hide, until my grip
weakens and I let
my tired body slide?

—Georgia Ressmeyer,  Sheboygan, WI