Rugged cathedral cliffs break open onto the valley
which slides down to nestle between mountains.
Peaks cut the sky sharp and jagged,
swallowing houses, dwarfing shops.
Twilight’s dam bursts under summer sunrise,
spilling SUVs and camper trailers over the ridge.
Below, the Big Thompson and Fall Rivers
roar through downtown, and as people browse
the two come together, and boulders
become like polished gift shop stones.
Tourists collect at the street corners;
perched on the curb, they clutch shopping bags
and anticipate the chirping crossing signal
that mocks the song of finches in flight.
Day rages on, wind sweeping them up
into the high country and back again
until dusk calms the churning current
beneath shadowed mountain sentinels.