My travel companions left me behind hours before,
somewhere in the Nano Koweap Formation,
so I hiked on a snowy Hermit’s Trail
out of the canyon on a March day, alone.
I kept going,
swearing at them loudly.
Then Raven appeared. Picked at the
tassel on my hat, I swatted to shoo him away.
He pulled on my ponytail, yanked on the strap
of my backpack, pestering me.
Raven flew off.
I drank some water, ate some trail mix, at Four Mile Spring.
Regrouped——rested——remembered that I had the car keys.
I resumed my climb,
Raven called encouragement
as I made my way up the Chuar Group, the Great Unconformity,
the Tonto Group and the steps carved into the upper layers,
until I reached the rim.
By training DeAnna Beachley is an historian, by avocation, a poet. When she is not teaching U.S. History and Women’s Studies, DeAnna travels around the Southwest and Pacific Coast finding new trails and inspiration.