One Poem by Beth Paulson

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On Trust

In the bottle-brown river ice is cracking, thawing
by day, buds sprung up on the ends of aspen branches,
snow melted to dark patches on the red rock cliffs,

south winds blow in gusts. This warm February
some say is from earth changes. They bear witness
who once knew the face of hard freeze, deep

winter that held them in its white grip into April.
Now we read everything around us as a sign—
steady gaze of the mountain sheep come down

from high terrain to feed in the cemetery field,
inky-tailed magpies vying over fresh road kill,
shallow footprints of deer in the forest’s thin layer.

How we have long taken everything on trust:
years of green-needled pines, summer’s blue and full
rivers, rain to fill field, ditch, and grass enough to feed.




Beth PaulsonBeth Paulson lives in southwestern Colorado where she leads the Poetica Workshop and co-directs the Open Bard Literary Series. Her poems have been nominated for four Pushcart Prizes and her fifth collection is Immensity (Kelsay Books, 2016).
Read two poems by Beth Paulson previously appearing in

Header photo by kurstan, courtesy Shutterstock.

Slash pine needles
Slashed is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, artwork, case studies, and more since 1997.