Palomar Mountain

Alfredo Aguilar

                              Decades ago, my parents drove

                              Us children here in our mini-van

                              The weekend after a heavy rain.

                              We could see the snowcapped peaks

                              From miles away.

                              I wore a sweatshirt,

                              The thickest jacket I owned,

                              And a pair of tall black rubber boots

                              That had an awkward fit.

                              We followed the road

                              On a winding incline

                              And noted with excitement

                              Every few minutes

                              The increasingly larger patches of snow,

                              Which not one of us had ever seen before.

                              I could feel the cold by placing my hand

                              To the window. At the top, near a park,

                              The ground was blanketed in white.

                              People were walking and playing

                              Inside this tucked-away wonder.

                              We pulled over

                              Across from the only post office

                              And restaurant in town. We stepped out

                              Into the cold air, breathed in,

                              And put on mittens. My brother and I

                              Took our green and blue boogey boards

                              Meant for the surf, found a hill,

                              And rode down again and again

                              Until we were tired.

                              From a red thermos our mother poured

                              Hot chocolate into cups

                              That warmed our hands and lips.

                              We packed and threw snowballs.

                              Our father helped us build a snowman,

                              Found two rocks for eyes.

                              I have a photograph of that time —

                              Our family huddles together,

                              Holding one another, smiling

                              As we stand in something wholly unfamiliar.

                              Here the snow never melts,

                              It is always gathered around us.

                              I am a child. I believe

                              My parents love each other.


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