Colder as you go

Living on a mountain top,
I can see the cool north
above the cloudline.
Colder as you go.
And the warm south shines
in yellow and orange, with
patches of brown rock poking through.
The trail looked longer coming up.
Now it seems quick, and all I know is this clumsy mountain.
I’m at the summit, I guess,
And I’d choose to sit,
but momentum pushes me onward silently along a moving sidewalk.
Always forward, south to north.
I used to run ahead and stumble.
Looking back, a patch of yellow and purple wildflowers shine past
the marsh and thickets.
My feet are still stained green
from the marsh.
My forearm is scarred.
I can’t sit or stop, so I plow.
Other walkers hop on and off
in the night. Some turn back.
Faces pressed against the glass.
Some search for answers. Who built this this cragged,
broken trail?
Others place berms and lilies at the log alter to feel still.
A few throw their stones in any face that will catch. They don’t cry anymore, but their brows point in.
The view is calming now,
a moment open from the trees.
I remember the spring,
bubbling by the cave.
The smooth rocks caught my imagination as a child.
Pieces of mountain
Shaped by rain that fell
from too-heavy clouds.
Picking up dirt, we planted seeds that stayed behind somehow.
Kids too focused on leaves and bugs to worry. What we couldn’t see we didn’t. And the mountain home was huge, everlasting. The path was daunting and easily dismissed.
I look to its edges these days.
I want to find a round, glassy stone.
Like one I remember from the brook.
To put in my pocket.
To make me rich, a child’s game.
To remind me of valleys,
flat stretches near the water.
To make me brave.

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