The Catskills

After “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

Catskill Mountain House, The Four Elements, Thomas Cole

I hitch a ride with a truck driver
who tells me, inside the ancient range,
which lies like a cougar, chin over paws,
rump outlined against the horizon,
body turned to stone, furred with trees,
sometimes a voice can be heard
singing a siren song calling all teamsters.

Weekenders populate the mountains,
their roads scarring the slopes,
but alongside the Thruway, I see these words
painted on a billboard: my name is Chloris,
the spirit of this place. In the leafing of the trees
and the flowering of the mountain laurel,
springtime reappears this year and every other year.