The Ridge

Open Spaces Chapbook 2001 (by Chris Ludwig)  
Part II can be viewed here:  http://www.chrisludwig.com/other-interests/poetry/open-spaces-chapbook/ii-the-inside-track 

The Ridge

three solitary hikers
on a ridge of blueberry and fireweed
ripe with color and dust
a sea of red leaves
angled sharply
relentlessly
straddled with old fallen timber
and freshly planted cedar
they switchback down
towards the old logging road below them
choked
with slide alder
and ripped
apart by innumerable creeks
and at the base of the ridge
a small black ball of fuzz
moving slowly
in curiosity
towards them
flowing over the branches and logs
as effortlessly
as a light breeze
passes through dense underbrush
but by yelling and hurling stones
the baby is dissuaded
returning to its  mother
who, enraged
follows the three
stalking their footsteps
below the logging road
until finally vanishing
as quietly as she came
into the impenetrable alder
of the clear-cut