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Continental Divide


Wendy, freckle-faced with her hair in pigtails and those big blue eyes, says: "I'd like to hike with you today."

We follow Persimmon Creek, climb past waterfalls to the top of the Continental Divide, walk through fields of alpine poppies, mountain peaks jutting up on all sides. On our return, we descend a steep scree slope in long jumps, racing to the bottom.

We stop where a small waterfall drops into a pocket deep enough for a swim—a place that I've had in mind all day. I gesture toward the pool and Wendy takes the hint and undresses. As she enters, she looks back over her shoulder with a hint of smile: "You can look, but don't touch."

Stripping off the clothing that covers this old man's body, I follow her into the pool: "And, you can touch, but don't look."

of cool water—
one thirst quenched


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Ray Rasmussen, British Haiku Society Haibun Anthology, 2007; reprinted in Red Moon Annual, 2008.


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