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Russian Ridge
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He’s late again,
Fiddling with the frayed laces
Of his hiking boots,
Collecting his camera equipment
Ever-so-slowly, deliberately.
I wait outside the house —
Our house —
For him to puncture
His persistent air
Of self-absorption,
For him to realize
I’ve already gone.
Finally, he emerges,
And we ride in his dilapidated car
To the corner of Skyline and Alpine,
Where a long, high ridge
Defines the boundaries
Between a theory of heaven
And the concrete earth.
We are ready to take a hike
Up the slick, muddy hill,
Past the dead brown grasses,
Into a stand of ancient oaks.
Their craggy black arms
Are tangled in the wet net
Of a pervasive gray mist.
We both snap shutters
Open and shut —
His analog and artistic,
Mine digital and observational —
Until the chill and damp
Freeze our fingers
And send us scurrying
Back to the cold fact
Of our shared home.

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