The recurring memory goes like this:
It’s late afternoon atop the ridge on a blazed trail,
lone raptor one hundred feet above,
water hushed by maple and oak one thousand feet below,
trekking into gray, dusk, black.
Pitch the two-man by intuition,
stretch the hammock between the shadow of two trees,
the enormous pearl smiles down,
tent door untethered, her head rests on my side,
we pee in the wee hours,
sit on a crag at dawn
and watch a blanket of fog cover the river.
She gets up, slops my face with her long wet tongue
and sidles home across a carpet of clouds.
Bella always at home navigating the Appalachian Trail, taking a swim, chasing critters and devouring anything she could sink her teeth into. Her spirit will always be in the outdoors and her ashes will scatter above Pulpit Rock.