Maybe Montana Trout Jump
I’m chasing Richard Hugo’s ghost into Glacier National Park while my mom searches for a store that sells freshly caught trout. I wander past quivering aspens and rivers that are still fed from glacial melts. He, or it, or what he once was begins moving through the air low and slow, the old bombardier instincts.
Eventually we reach a clearing and the ghost leans, if a ghost still has weight to support, against a snow fence. In summer these tall bars of wood are a kind of Torii gate and the emptiness they frame reminds me I’m being haunted.
“The gist of it is,” Hugo begins, “not all of this was Holy Land but some of it was.” I nod, disagreeing with the dead feels inappropriate, they know more than I do, I’ve never died. I ask him if he knows of a store nearby that sells fresh trout. “Maybe Montana trout jump,” he answers believing he’s being helpful. It’s clear one of us is out of place. I smile graciously, like a tourist in a foreign country, and walk back toward my family’s RV.
About the author:
Donald Welch lives in Brooklyn, NY. His current project @SocialLit explores new forms of poetry and collaborative writing derived from Social Media. His work has appeared in Passages North, Howlround, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, The Emerson Review, and elsewhere. His collection of children’s poetry Who Gave These Flamingos Those Tuxedos? was published by Wilde Press in 2013.