Thursday, August 13, 2015

A poem that moved me at the Hood River Plein Air Writers Gathering

What Remains
By Sarah Sullivan, inspired by Mt. Hood Winery

A cooper made the oak wine barrels. The wood came from Washington. The grapes came from the west field near the stream. The water came from Mt. Hood down the river into the irrigation ditch. This year the water is rationed and the grapes will be smaller.

In the soil are stones from as far as Idaho that came in the floods 12,000 years ago. Imagine a torrent of water 10 times the combined flow of all of the rivers in the entire world. Incomprehensible, like the tree becoming a vessel and the glacier making its way into wine.

We worry about the water and the mountain. We know the glaciers are receding and the summers are going to be more like this one. Unbearably hot. Fires everywhere.

Still, in the fall the geese will fly in long, loud V’s over the vineyard. The deer will gather under the apple trees, and a few of the salmon will make their way back upstream through the warming water.

Try to remember the exact place where we came into being.

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