by E. A. Greenwell


I remember
The first mountain I saw

When I drove west
I left everything

What was there before
Wasn’t there now

Except for my passenger
This was emptiness

Her gesture
And I followed her finger

Out the window
The consistency of fog

With fine edges
Like a white dress

What wasn’t there before
Was there now

Where trees ended

Where snow began

Where clouds landed

The radio looped
Through half-broke static

Like hundreds of brushes
Brushing paint around

What was there before
Was there now

As when a stranger says
Remember me



greenwellRecipient of Writing in the Wild and Centrum Writers’ Conference fellowships from the University of Idaho, E. A. Greenwell was the 2016-2017 PEN/Margery Davis Boyden Wilderness Writing Resident. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Terrain.org, Moss, and is forthcoming from Poet Lore and Common Ground Review. He lives in Eastern Oregon, where he works with tribes, NGOs, government entities, and private landowners to conserve land.