The Cabin in the Mountains

By Emily Ripley

It lies at the end of a curvy dirt trail

lonely as the last leaf on a tree.

No cell phone signal to be found,

only each other and the wilderness.

Hickory-colored logs and

a moss tin roof encloses the living quarters.

The porch planks are worn and warped,

telling us that it has been enjoyed by many.

Being so high up in the mountains has its benefits.

Waking up in the morning was different …

We look down on the cotton candy-like clouds and

Marvel at the beauty of the world that lies below.

The cabin is a memory jar,

built by someone special and grounded in love.

A grueling year of muscle fatigue, sweat,

tears, and weekly drives up the mountain.

Forever in the foundation lies the names of the men

who made the cabin possible and were dedicated to the dream.

My grandfather’s dream.

His ideal sweet escape for his family.

A year later, a magnificent 10-point whitetail deer claimed its spot on the wall.

He gleams with pride and accomplishment.

the matte black wood pellet stove has heard many unforgettable stories

and witnessed laughter, tears, the good times, and even the bad ones.

In the fall, the smell of morning dew radiates throughout the house.

Breakfast entails a trek down the mountain

in search of homemade apple butter and pancake syrup.

Sharp, percussive sounds of 4.5mm copper pellets hitting beer cans travel around the property

Shooting cans quickly turns into hunting for anything in sight.

Everyone has chosen their spot in the woods for the day.

Rustling in the leaves from the animals is the only thing able to be heard for miles.

Later everyone reconvenes before suppertime to show off their harvest:

8 squirrels, 4 pheasants, and a small deer.

Dirt bikes and ATV’s are the closest things to technology.

There is no screen time.

As the sun begins to say goodbye for the day,

The family gathers on the enclosed deck to watch.

The sky is painted tangerine and rose

over the mountain parallel to ours

until it becomes pitch black for the night.

The only thing able to be seen are the stars.

The only thing able to be heard are the owls.

Now, the beloved family cabin that we created belongs to a new family.

It’s their new beginning and their sweet escape.

They can now sit around the pellet stove and bonfire to share stories.

They can now marvel at the beautiful sunsets and fluffy cloud mornings.

The cabin still lives under the same beautiful sky

and above the majority of surrounding life.

Even though we do not own the cabin anymore,

It will always be our cabin.

With hard work and determination, your wildest dreams can come true

and the memories will join along the way.


  1. Oh how wonderful. I can almost picture Mr Earl building his beloved retreat. Thank you for a wonderful story.

  2. The imagery in this poem is so unique and made me feel like I was at this cabin. I enjoy how you wrapped up the poem by saying how the new family is now able to have joy like yours did.

  3. The imagery in this poem made me feel like I was at this cabin and was going through your memories. I really enjoyed how you tied the new family into the poem by saying they are now able to create nee memories like you and your family were able to.

  4. Amazing story! I can feel the emotions behind the cabin. I really enjoyed the last part as well. Ownership may change, but memories do not.

  5. I really like the use of detail on this poem, it helps me to picture in my mind how the cabin looks from the poets point of view and not from just a picture. Clearly to the poet this is not just a cabin in the woods but it holds a deeper and more beautiful meaning of something significant in the poets life which is very beautiful.

  6. This was beautifully written and makes me wish I could experience something such as the memories created in this cabin.

  7. The way you described everything helped me make a clear visual in my head. It was almost like I was there. Really Good!

  8. This poem was very well written and had very good details, it makes me as the reader feel like I am actually there.

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