Yosemite’s Gates

Yosemite’s gates are sealed for good,
all visitors barred.
East of the park at Tioga Pass,
six cherubs block the entrance,
each with a flaming longsword
carved of glacier quartz.
At Hetch Hetchy on the western side,
seventy bison clog the road,
shaggy heads low and silent,
daring to be challenged.
At Big Oak Flat a granite boulder,
round as the moon over Half Dome,
rolled down a cliff on Christmas Eve
and plugs the asphalt passage.
Don’t even bother with the Arch Rock entrance
on El Portal Road at Foresta
where a great woolly mammoth
rubs its sweeping tusks
against the granite blocks,
having emerged, they say,
from a Badger Pass blizzard.
South Entrance appears deceptively open
though witnesses tell of the presence of ghosts
in the shape of leaping bighorns.
As for the thousands stuck inside,
news is sparse; electricity is out,
the trails are full of bear.
This much we know: a woman gave birth
to a child who floats when given the breast
and who laughs at the sight of the moon.