He Never Gets Skunked on that Road

Yellowstone Falls
Yellowstone Falls from a distance

My love and I round the first turn.
Our snowmobile engines whir, then stop.
Silence marks our ground.
Snow markers perch, a shimmer of diamond picket fence.
The river whispers over rocks.
Ice floes trip and weave.

Helmets off. Crystalline flakes fall on our heads.
Soft, a munch, munch from the river shore.
An elk, grand man, eight-point rack, reaches for tender shoots.

The Yellowstone loop takes all afternoon, over moguls, through bison breath frozen mid-air.

At Snow Lodge, we drag our packs on a sled, dine on trout and huckleberry pie.
Showered and windburned, we near sleep. More snow, lighter snow, falls and surrounds our haven like down.
We speak in whispers, reliving the day, that wondrous bull elk on the shore.
My husband, my mate, laughs and reminds, “Count on me, Mama, count on me. I never get skunked on that road.”