He drove to Tillamook, on a barely defensible pretext
for work, in the stripped-down bargain pick-up
that he learned to like despite its lack of CD and air,
when things had gotten about as bad as they could get.
Highway 6 was blasted through the Coast Range while
Gales Creek, Saddle Mountain, and the Wilson River
burned in 1938. Its engineers could not have known
how well it would be suited to sitting on its shoulder,
below the falls, above the gorge, when all the spruce
and fir and cedar had long since again resprouted
and grown to dizzy dominance, with head in hands,
to cogitate love’s dispossession, and minutes later,
to be drubbed with the glory green and river holler
and mist arising from the riprap with sneaking joy.