Matchmaker / by Laura M Kaminski

for Jim Corner

There is no path except the one
I’m making with my feet —
I wind past cactus, prickly pear
and yucca, these bristling sentries
zealously guard scant patches of shade
beneath the stubby junipers.

The needled fingers of these
ancient trees are tipped with caps
of gold — a gunshot echo rolls
along the ridge as one explodes
beside me, coats me in yellow
dust — I’ve been entrusted by this
Midas with a message —
I must take it up.

I continue climbing, reach
a cliff-top, find another tree
that’s split a boulder
with its roots; it stands
in solitude.

I scrabble up the rock,
gently rest my back
against its bark.

–Laura M Kaminski

NOTE: Conclave: A Journal of Character published this poem in their most recent issue; I am re-posting it here and elsewhere today with their permission as a tribute. Rest in Peace, Jim Corner.)