Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Your intrepid hiker
Got to the pointy top of a mountain last year in summer
Thought he saw snow and cushions of clouds around him
Planted his tattered weary tricolor flag and

Didn't notice that his footing was uneven and his treads were
Dangerously carelessly worn
Fell asleep and was shaken awake only by an earthquake

From turtle-flipped over on his back at first he didn't see it
But then, oh god, the unnameable panicked scream went up to no god in the eternally godless sky
to be heard by no one

What he thought was the peak was...well, a peak. He had had the right idea.
But it wasn't THE peak. Oh no. When he turned to his left and right and especially when
he craned his neck upward he saw it
Sheer icy windy cliffs extending jaggedly upward beyond sight
Sixty degrees? Sixty-five? Seventy?
I have fooled myself all this time
I have fooled myself all this time
I am a fool
He rooted out his triumphant flag and cast it on the ground

And when he looked down the hill,
Fire was swallowing the town below

All there was left to do
Was make camp, count and sharpen his instruments
Check his rations, revise his maps
And come to the understanding that
The flag-planting is only temporary
It's all the world knows to talk about, but it changes nothing
What endures all is the realization
That the hiker and his mountain and his pain and his sun are coauthors

No comments:

Post a Comment