Snapseed 6

Water beads down the tent.

I listen to the drops,

the rise and fall of your breath.

I roll over—

study sunburnt cheeks,

the wilderness of your unshaven jaw line.

I wrestle from our sleeping bag,

unzip the rainfly, peel warmth

to see pines coated in mist.


I stand on a flat rock, a jutting finger bone

that points towards Red River Gorge.

Somewhere below, an unmarked trail.

Tree roots became footholds,

rungs to a ladder we ascended.

I plant myself, brush arms with forked pines.

The canyon sweats,

entangles with fog below.

I root down.

A poem by Shelby Newsom from Volume 1 of Deep Wild: Writing from the Backcountry, August 2019. The deadline to submit poetry for Volume 2 is December 31. (Prose deadlines are January 31). To submit/subscribe, visit

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