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I ride Route 17 west, and the mountains lift

and circle the road, mountains in front of me

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and the curve of others to the right and left.

The evergreens' dark feathers brush the sky,

and the trees on the hills, bereft of leaves,

stand stiff and straight as pencil strokes,

close together and pointing skyward,

so perfect and symmetrical the lines

they could be an artist's rendition

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of winter mountains.

I try to make a picture of them

in my mind, black pencil strokes

separated by white snow,

such beauty even in grayness.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society