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Ruthanne Reid

by Elizabeth Cain

When you can walk a mile
from your front door in August
and eat wild strawberries,
something changes
Months later you thrive
when the snow tumbles
down the mountain
and the roads ice up
and you can't even see
your way to the barn.

What used to scare you
shatters in the white silence.
Something ripens
in your bones,

You taste it in your dreams,

remember climbing dream-like
up the old logging road
lush with bristle grass
to that strawberry ground

that opening.

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Elizabeth Cain

Elizabeth Cain writes: In between doing half-passes at the canter around grizzlies and wolves in the Montana backcountry, I write feverishly. I've lived in two worlds most of my life, the last twenty-five years in Lincoln [Montana], where I've written six -- going on eight -- novels; hundreds of poems; hit the ground running in half marathons, dog sled excursions, and ski trails; and sometimes crashed to the ground from the backs of 17.1-hand warmbloods. Words can be dangerous, too, but their power to heal transcends all.

Chérie Newman is a former arts and humanities producer and on-air host for Montana Public Radio, and a freelance writer. She founded and previously hosted a weekly literary program, The Write Question, which continues to air on several public radio stations; it is also available online at and
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