Pear Lake Ski Hut
by Paul J. Willis
I had a vision one March day.
It happened where we lay
Asleep in the Sierra in a hut.
The door was shut,
But sunshine through the windows made a way.
It was new morning after storm;
The sky was not yet warm.
Six feet of snow lay sparkling under eaves,
Where nothing grieves;
A freshness and a farness found each form.
Outside the hut our ski tracks ran
A brief and curving span
Around a knoll and disappeared from sight
A snowy height
Then wandered back to where our trail began.
And though the door was closed, we stood
Upon the threshold good
And welcomed the bright morning on the knoll.
The gray birds stole
Among the needles of our little wood.
Behind us rose a matterhorn,
A slope to gently warn
The possibility of avalanche,
But tree nor branch
Gave clue nor sign of danger to be borne.
Far otherwise. For round the knoll
On quick skis came the soul
And body of a friend from out the grave.
God may us save
As she was saved that morning free and whole.
I saw her plucky smile, her eyes,
As if the grisly guise
Of death had melted like a glaze of ice.
What could suffice
More than her grace in coming in this wise?
But then behind her came another;
It was my older brother
In full possession of his hands and feet.
With joy we greet
Him too to make our few, both one and other.
Then came a friend who was estranged;
Now glad and wholly changed,
He skied up laughing to our fellowship,
Not in the grip
Of lust and lies in which he darkly ranged.
Then came another pair and more
Of old friends to our door,
All young and fresh, and free of tears and hurt
Not our desert,
But what we had been granted, what in store.
And though this hut slept only ten,
There was still room again
For each who came; and there was room for all
In that great hall,
Those lovely living women and those men.
This was my vision. You can say
It was not so, or lay
Your wager on the odds it will not be.
But as for me
And for my stony hut, we wait that day.
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