Chapel of the Transfiguration

The eyes are drawn to a muscular uplift skyward—
plate tectonics straight from the textbook—

eleven, twelve and thirteen thousand feet
abruptly wedded to a smooth valley floor,

while among the crowns clouds undulate,
gray courtship among stone steeples,

tips obscured are soon revealed
as ever-shifting shrouds conceal, then unveil

shoulders and peaks draped in purest snow:
Grand, Middle and South Teton,

alongside Nez Perce, Mount Wister, Buck Mountain,
snow falling in ghostly rolling curtains.

Where peaks possess patience, mist seems imbued,
a silver sky offering more snow, turning

crags of bare steely rock to jeweled white
as if guided by a deft, painterly hand.

In this June drizzle of ice the chapel is a vessel—
walls of lodgepole pine, pews of deep aspen,

anchored in scrappy soil and earthy greens
as the clouds above the Snake River begin to recede,

breaking, parting in silence, the fresh snow
now radiant, shimmering on canvas of highest stone.