Field Guide for Park Rangers

Chelsea Stockham is a writer from Bristol, England. Her primary passion is poetry. She is currently completing a Creative Writing degree at Sheffield Hallam University, and working on her first poetry collection. "Field Guide for Park Rangers" was a runner-up in Short Édition's Long Story Short Award, 2020.

How Yosemite can fit
within these four fragile walls,
stretched across the bedspread
with hip bone peaks pointing
heavenward. You wake to
dawn's open-window woodnote,
ribcage canyon yawning under
conifer air, ridges kissed by misted
breath and lips of florid morning.
How you can trace each trail,
each thick white-water and thin
snow creek scar, by fingernail
and still lose yourself like a boy
scout between the ponderosas.

How Yosemite can fit
in the bathtub and the two-seater
that sheds its leather like pine needles
but never in your arms, never
long enough to hear the chasmic
echo of your heartbeat returned or
to learn the smoke-signal language
or call her yours.

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