Two Medicine

by Dave Lucas

Dave Lucas

Glacier National Park, Montana

Imagine you could learn 
the names of every river,
each upthrust mountain
and fault folded on itself:

klippe and nappe, you say,
you say grind and warp,
and these names name
a world you say you know.

It is easy enough to say
the river seeks the sea,
the mountain the sky.
It is easy enough to say

the truth. But so what.
From here you can see
everything as everything
appears to disappear.

Soon enough the world
will end in fire, and then
in ice. It is easy enough
to say this will happen,

but who would believe it,
standing here in the wild,
foreign country of this
single, ordinary life—

this is Two Medicine,
where the lodges stood
and where the cures took,
where the river ran on.

Imagine you could learn
the names of everything
before our brief time
of words has ended.

Last updated November 20, 2022