Harry’s Ridge

Photo by Elan

It’s a part time job

She sells Pepsi and water

Overpriced, in the parking lot

“I’ve come here to run.”

I want to say, but don’t.

What would that mean?

She looks at me strangely, anyway

I’ve gotten used to that look


I walk with boots

I’ve made into slippers

No shoestrings

Pay eight dollars

At the visitor’s center

The cashier has a part time job

“I’ve come here to run.”

I want to say, but don’t

What would that mean?

“Harry’s Ridge,” I say

She tries not to look at me strangely

Places a paper bracelet

On my wrist

I feel like I have been admitted

Or committed, most likely permitted


It’s a part time job

Mt. St. Helens

Who sits next to me

Close, in a haze

Smoke from forest fires

Rubbing against our shoulders

The trail, white with ash

Still, decades after the eruption

I am in a rain desert

Here, for part of my time

“I’ve come here to run”

I want to say, but don’t

What would that mean?

The volcano tries not to look at me strangely

I’ve gotten used to that look

30 Comments on “Harry’s Ridge

  1. Elan, you inspire me a lot. Let the children speak their language and savour the culture it expresses. Keep the ink flowing. God bless you.


  2. I spotted this post yesterday but didn’t have time to read it. So glad I came back! “The volcano looked at me strangely…” Best ending ever. I love the journey this one takes us on. Well done!


  3. I remember going there in the mid 1980’s, and all the trees that are now tree farms once again, were just gray stalks laid over on their sides, acres and acres. It was really surreal. You can still see a few remnants of that on certain rocky slopes where vegetation is having a hard time taking hold, but it doesn’t have nearly the impact it did back then. Ob La Da, Life Goes On.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful photo and words. When my children were small and I was still married, we were traveling to CA and caught in the ash fall out of the second explosion of Mt St Helens. A bright sunny day with blue sky turned black as night and we were unable to see. We crawled along I5 until we were past the worse of it. I am glad we were as far away as we were.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having been to Mt. St. Helens, I can readily identify with the other-worldliness of the scene you portray … the white ash, especially … something about being there makes saying almost ANYthing seem irrelevant. What I like poetically is your use of a dubious “she”.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Yes Elan, you are strange, wonderfully so. I’m sure my strangeness stems from the night a witch visited me in my sleep and estranged me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love writing that makes you feel like you’re right there with the characters, watching and listening for what will be next. That’s what yours felt like. That picture is pretty awesome too.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. After thinking about it. I do like it. It says a lot about what people don’t say and how they read another’s reaction to them. Yes. I do like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Felt this one. We can see Mt St Helens from here but I’ve never been able to visit since my friend died there. Her name is on the plaque at the visitor’s center.
    Wonderful poem, Elan.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I had to read it twice. Still not sure if I really like it, but it says something to me. Not sure what. Perhaps, I am getting used to that look, too.

    Liked by 3 people

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