for Tim Britton
Not content just to kill,
the mountain lion north of Carson in the Gifford Pinchot Forest
takes a doe with a broken leg,
drags her by the left hind hoof into a fir tree
and leaves her there to cool a while.
Last night I dreamed I was painting a house the color of an apricot.
Ladder raised twenty feet, set into soft ground.
A dream ladder made of wood left out in rain for 20 years.
The grain split and slick with mold.
When I look up, my father is standing on the roof ridge
dressed in golfing clothes of the 1970’s
twenty years younger than I am now.
Lime green slacks held up with a woven belt.
Red nylon shirt, yellow spiked golf shoes, hat the color of a lemon
that matches the shoes.
Now he is back on the ground, looking very concerned for my safety.
Holding the ladder, my father is asking me without words
not to climb it
but I say I am ready now as ever will be.