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Sierra

She’s tall like the mountain range the bear the same name.

From Nebraska but it could be California just the same.

I guess it doesn’t really matter from where she came.

Her hair the golden fields her eyes the icy blue flame.


She ponders life, love, and her new career

Back home in Omaha everything was so clear.

But she lived in anticipation…restricted by fear.

Arizona has ahold of her now…at least for another year.


She laughs and smiles and cries over the Arizona guys.

With dreams deeper than the wide open Nebraska skies.

And so we plot together, we scheme, we devise!

Arizona melts away in the heat whilst Nebraska rain cries.


She went to the Rockies in search of a million smiles.

Because Denver was just another million miles.

Another bunny on the snow…another a million styles.

A million mountaintops for a million sky isles.


Cruel winters up north made her cancel her flight.

But she stayed on and continued the acrimonious fight.

She left in the early morning but disembarked late at night.

A flashing of my phone signaled arrival at first Snapchat light.


She takes ski school because she’s not yet from the West.

But with a few runs I’m sure she progressed.

Time and space out here is not nearly as compressed.

With every turn she’s less impressed and less distressed.


She’ll make molehills from mountains…they’ll have to adjust.

Consuming themselves like the Donner party in cannibal disgust.

The brightest metal oxidizes…Sierra gold…will never rust.

Even the mighty Sierra Nevada range is born of stardust.


I’ll think of her upon this mutual climb to the summit.

Rhymes are merely philosophies to the sound of a drum hit.

Poems are like a lonely banjo song with no one to strum it.

Like the markets we both rise and fall…fly and plummet.


Too many fireworks, too many grand finales.

A far cry from those red Nebraska streets and alleys.

We toast with whiskey now every time the market rallies.

The Sierras must rise to dizzying heights before they give way to valleys.


There is a metamorphic gold rush in “them, there, hills.”

They come from all over the plains to get their feverish fills.

Ol’ forty-niners sipping whiskey from Kentucky stills.

Kentucky-aged barrels charred in American mills.



I try to remain relevant as our trails diverge.

Hers to California and mine to Allegheny Spurge.

Sierra, by nature, rises above the filth and scourge.

I wonder now if and when our paths will ever again merge.


So the happy hours become ever so interspersed.

Rain fall in the high elevations…Summertime cloudburst.

My lines less and less salient…less and less rehearsed.

The last prospector out the door may as well be the first.


The Sequoias turn to Redwoods as the Sierras fall to the coast.

All of us snakes still slither on the desert floor and roast.

But long ago she left this dirty and dusty western outpost.

Sierra turns to mist like the passing of an old freightliner ghost.


So I raise my glass to her now in this selfie toast.

The party left long ago and I’m just the host.

The sunrise shines southerly …shadows now engrossed.

The ones we love yesterday…are today just an almost.


The Dow almost hit 20,000 later that miserly week.

But the cold swept in and kissed us all upon the cheek.

I hoped I’d inherit the world because I felt so meek.

Meanwhile Sierra’s Breckenridge snaps was on fleek.


I poured myself a Jameson and coffee to take in the view.

Perhaps the market knew things that none of us knew.

If Sierra were in my shoes she would have done it too.

You know that they say about walking a mile in my shoe.


The winter came and I had fallen to her greedy snow.

I promised myself if I lived…the warm places I would go.

Tropical suns with freshly-minted gold money… I could blow.

A heart at last blackened with the last pickings of a crow.


Sierra Nevada Solstice arrives and upon a precipice I cling.

In the distance I hear the twang of a whiskey banjo string.

I hope to make it through Donner Pass before spring.

Who knows what arriving on the other side could bring.


But the flurries come in and Sierra range rises higher.

I hang upon a cliff…balanced high on this cable wire.

And wicked winter elves against me so wrongly conspire…

Long ago they fell to the Sierra ice in search of a warm fire.


So, I sit back dying and decaying …watching the Sierras grow taller.

In the search for hidden gold; whereas, I spent my last measly dollar.

Just an old prospector who dreamt himself a youthful archeology scholar.

Sierra rises to greater and greater heights… or perhaps I’ve just grown smaller.


With my last gasp of Sierra mountain air…I finally fall from her…

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