On the way out to the lake
for the first flight of the year
David slips into a hush but I know
he's not searching his soul or even
brooding. He's driving me out
and I'm leaving. There's nothing
implied and plenty imagined
when our fate is unvoiced.

I'm not sure about the gusting wind
and waves but Wendel is
so we sweat the basics on board
and save the rest for later.

He shoulders it loose and twists the bow around,
fires and engine and then the other
and we pull away from shore, getting distance
from the dock. He and I
and my green hand Bryan trade off
looks without meaning
as we taxi down the lake
as far as we can go before
he opens up the throttle
and gasoline cascades in. We accelerate
and clamber halfway up a step,
assembling speed. My mind empties.

Neither in nor out my friend
twists one float and then the other free.
And then we're loose, shamelessly removed,
organizing the momentum of experience.
Along the lake we skim, settling in
until he noses it up and shorelines fade.

Up ahead sunlight kindles snowy mountains.
I write down divine observation. To hear and
understand land, oh streams, signals
discovery. We head for them, knowing
that's where we're going.
The Beech slides onto one and then another
wave coming off the rocks and step by step
he surfs the ship over the peaks
behind Hazelton. Heading north, going up
the Kispiox, roads and cuts
one end to the other.
The roads come to an end
and as far as I can see
one mountain follows another,
all unroaded, all wild up ahead.
Over wetlands, out of the Cedars
and into the Spruce, over the scree
and ice, lines on maps
in our minds. We know where we are.
There are trails below us now.