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

This entry was posted in Poetry, Portraits and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Harry’s Ridge

  1. Bill Chance says:

    Cool photo and great words.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Jen says:

    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

  3. 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

  4. Elan Mudrow says:

    Interesting comment Jen. Thanks

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mel Gutiér says:

    You are strange but much loved and admired. You’ve captured the image magically. Really enjoyed this break. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Mel Gutiér says:

    It’s like from another world this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jen says:

    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

  8. Elan Mudrow says:

    Yes, that’s part of it. Thanks Jen!!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. gaillovesgod says:

    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

  10. frankpovah says:

    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

  11. Elan Mudrow says:

    Perhaps as strange as Mt. Saint Helens. Which, I may add, is only here for a “short” period of time.


  12. This should be set to music.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Elan Mudrow says:

    I’ll take note of that. Ooops. I guess I just wrote a cheesy pun. Thanks my friend!!


  14. 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

  15. Freshly expressed. This one provokes but doesn’t insist. Nice, light touch.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I also read this thinking it read like a song, maybe set to an old school Queen track…instead of “From father to son” it’s “I’ve come here to run”…very cool

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Elan Mudrow says:

    Interesting take on it. Thanks


  18. kigalaonline says:

    Great work, Elan. Can’r run from your shadow.


  19. Elan Mudrow says:

    And I, the same of you.


  20. Jennifer Butler Basile says:

    Love this. The possible permutations of running.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. vivachange77 says:

    Your words create an atmosphere I can imagine. I like the non-verbal conversation. Wonderful images.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Renee Espriu says:

    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

  23. Obol says:

    I love the imagery.


  24. dornahainds says:

    Such Stunningly sightings! 😎😎😎


  25. 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

  26. Elan Mudrow says:

    True. If you take the trail from Lava Canyon and circle round the east side, you can still run into the “gray stalks”.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 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!


  28. Rachaita says:

    You write some pretty incredible poetry. 🙂


  29. neptunechaos says:

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this. Good job.


  30. kigalaonline says:

    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.


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