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and perhaps startle her.
She gives me the briefest glance
and goes back to her gazing
and soon I am drawing near her.
She is a tall, plump woman,
well into middle age,
dressed in T-shirt and jeans,
looking as if she'd just
stepped outside the house:
no hat, no jacket, no
binoculars, no daypack;
up here alone, it seems,
maintaining this rapt stillness
in the stillness, as the birds stir
high up in the foliage,
darkness a half hour off ,
the canyon chill increasing.
"There's a lot of birds up here,"
she says, an eagerness showing
a little, and a slight shyness,
under the factual manner.
I nod and mention seeing
some signs of bear up above.
She rounds our meeting off ,
"We saw bears on Pine Mountain,"
releasing us to resume
the solitudes we broke,
she mine, that is, I hers.
I go and she stays on.
I meet nobody else