st helens

Tea Time With Mountain Women

Breeze gently brushes long hair
Against a dry cheekbone
Silent
Shasta rising in front
As I sit cross-legged on her flank

This mountain and I have shared stories
She has taken my tears
Repaid in awe
I wonder down her side
Picking bits of trash from the trail

Wind whipped ash
Stings the corners of dry eyes
Squatting on Mt. St. Helen's edge
Rocks fall
I share her fury strewn for miles
Soul rent and shorter
A choice for growth

We hold a staccato conversation
Sharing women's power, silence of mountains
In birth
I scramble carefully down rocks fallen from her center

Tea talk with mountains
Slow, silent, and borne
On winds blowing between our souls

Brenda Cooper
September, 1998