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This poem is taken from PN Review 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

Cutwater's Curl and Rude Stone James A. Powell

I. Interstate 80

Banking out of the cut to climb
    again as the road twists
    tighter, dodging the slope
         but still upward
    into the high sierra.
The brush cover frays in this steep air,

leaving patches of ground exposed,
      the color of year-old
      rain-bleached peels of madrone
           bark: snow-scoured
      topsoil, half rock-shard, half dust,
a rust stain that spreads as the air thins.

Fir and pine near the ridges, trunks
      that twist in July light,
      straining still against snowdrift,
...


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