Sudden Mountain Storm
by Gillian Nevers
We huddle in a crevice between
two boulders at the edge of a trail.
A blizzard rages around us. We're weary.
We're wary. We're lost.
You, ever the pragmatist, suggest we
write a note to the rescue team—
just in case. But, neither of us brought pen or paper
on this last-minute hike. To pass the time
we decide to tell each other
what it is we love about each other.
I go first. I love your boney knees, your loopy walk.
I love your kindness to animals—how you
buried a dead rabbit, found flattened in the street,
in the garden. I love that you love to read.
I could have done without your being so stubborn, but,
when you relent and admit I'm right, I love that.
You interrupt with: Hey, I love you even though
you always have to be right. I respond:
Start with something positive, and you respond
by saying something adorably lewd. We laugh.
Shivering, move closer. You wonder what time it is.
It's impossible to tell if it's night or day
trapped in a white-out. I love your optimism,
you whisper in my ear. I love it, even though
I complain, that you fill every holiday table
with strangers, and that you have to sleep with
a night light is especially lovable. What about
freezing to death with me? Do you love that, too?
I shout over the gale-force wind.
Then, as if I command it, the wind stops
and where once the world was erased
the sky breaks open. Below us,
not very far below us,
we see the green valley.