(with apologies to Hayden Carruth)
Doing everything right
was easier on the first nights,
choosing the site least attractive
to bears, hanging the food
over a tree, digging a small latrine.
By the third night it wore on me,
sweating and aching, the younger,
more outdoorsy hikers passing me by,
their colors competing with the
mountain flowers. I camped close
to a state parks cabin, introduced
myself to the renters, asked if, at night,
in the rain, would they mind my using
the outhouse? They said don't. Might
frighten them to hear me out there.
And that was fine. I camped
where I camped, went where
I went. I’d been lonely
since that terrible day
Ronald Reagan got elected.