Remembering Greta Wrolstad
I finally zoomed myself up highway 200 for my first dip in the Blackfoot today. It was glorious. After scoping a spot to stash my pack, I peeled off my T and stepped unsteadily on stones, crotch deep. The first submersion of the seasons always takes a bit of build up before the fuck it moment of plunge. After that, it’s all float and kick.
Every time I travel up 200 I think of Greta Wrolstad, a young poet who died while sitting shotgun in a car turning left to go to Johnsrud.
I never met Greta, but we shared a mentor. Her tragic but sadly not uncommon fatality on a Montana highway snatched this young woman just getting started with her verse, her life. I imagine the poems that will never be written will forever ghost the margins of those who knew her.
(there’s even a little bit of funding now pegged to her name)
After zooming back from the river, I grubbed down with the wife and kids, then, after dinner, we took a family bike ride to campus.
Amidst this haunt of water-sucking collegiate green grass, I ran across her rock. No, her stone.
navigating by horizon. In our throats a strange
thirst persists. Perhaps there would be an end.
Comes a shoreline. Comes a harbor—a river. And
our identities come back in horror at the
river’s mouth that pleads for more silt, more
sand, refuses to slide clean to the sea. At the
river’s first bend we come ashore, and on
that shore, stones. Smooth, diminishing stones.