Sun alights her figure of hematite,
Apart and above in her regal stance
Her gown of ruffles chalky pink; her legs
Trapped for sixty million years long to dance
The sunset waltz in the silent city
Where hoodoos grow glowing in saffron light;
Sentinels sculpted by frosts and rainfall
Awaiting the star-filled Fairyland night
All rosy atop the world’s Grand Staircase
Watching from a distance as shadows jut,
Then the Bryce claron princess of Pink Cliffs
Pales, reveals she’s not Cinderella but
E.T. the terrestrial known to all
Wishing ruby slippers for tonight’s ball.
The backstory is that Russ, excellent photography instructor/tour guide/driver/lunch cook/hiker, ensured we had lots of opportunities to photograph Bryce Canyon National Park at sunrise, sunset, nighttime and while hiking the wondrous 13 kilometre Fairyland Loop that wanders through this amphitheatre of striking hoodoos. While from a distance a figure appeared Cinderella-like to me, it’s named E.T. after Speilberg’s famous gender-fluid character. My reaction to this haunting image demanded a poem that insisted on following my initial perception and the structure of Sylvia Plath’s sonnet Cinderella.
Copeland,Kathy & Craig. Hiking from here to WOW UTAH CANYON COUNTRY. Birmingham, Alabama: Wilderness Press, 2015. This is the best hiking guide for Utah that we’ve found, thanks to Outfitters in Escalante, whose tagline is “Pizza Beer Cabins Gear.”