‘Our Usual Hike’ by Sally Molini

There’s plenty of room for poetry in the Mojave National Preserve.


‘Our usual hike’ was initially published in Atlanta Review.


Sally Molini is a writer and freelance editor whose work has appeared in various journals, including Denver Quarterly, Beloit Poetry Journal, Diagram, LIT, and Southern Poetry Review.

She lives in Nebraska near Heron Haven, a spring-fed wetlands sanctuary and one of the last ox-bow wetlands of Big Papillion Creek.

‘Our usual hike’

of getting lost
in the right spot, not hard
with rock formations like these,
nature deeper than I can think,
full of cliff-edge spells
and green tipsy splendor.
We turn in early,
whiskey in our tea,
pinyon ridge for a bed,
Coleman lamp as poky nightlight.

Not sleepy, you set up
the camera, bottomless cup
through which you tipple the world —
even shadow and scrub seem to pose
for your lens, ancient flecks of mica
signaling to the nosy stars
our turn to shine.