Everlasting Wilderness

Christine Colasurdo


As pearly everlasting reappeared in the blast zone, so too did the mountain’s other flowers. As I stood on the ridgetop, I noticed tangles of fireweed five feet high. Beyond them rustled meadows of pasqueflower, paintbrush, and false-hellebore. Shrubby willows and alders were emerging as green spheres on the brown slopes. Huckleberry shrubs proffered tiny blue berries. Young noble and silver firs rose up in evergreen islands, fifteen feet high. Coyotes who had survived after eruption on little else than insect carcasses now had fragrant wild strawberries to feast upon. The trail we had taken to the ridge was littered with strawberry-studded coyote scat.

And when coyotes howled around our camp at midnight, I rose from the tent to look at the stars. The lake’s logs had disappeared west, disclosing it east arm—a huge, flat path of sparking obsidian.

From In the Blast Zone, pages 82-83. (OSU Press, 2008)

Full Publication from Oregon State University Press