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Boy on benchpg



Winter Hike


Looking toward the east

I’m thinking of walking across the thick layer of fog

that lies just beneath this sunlit crest.

I’m thinking of leaping,

of bounding,

each step springing me higher

above the creamy softness

as I cross the valley that lies 1,000 feet below.

I will reach the horizon’s snow-capped peaks in moments.

Such are dreams,

but I am wide awake

having just emerged from the cold, damp darkness

that has been our lot for days now;

having witnessed bars of sunlight filtering through

the clutching fog near the summit;

having heard the cries of joy from others

who gather here,

who drink thirstily from the brightness.

Surely anything is possible

if begun on this rounded hilltop

where sun warms body and soul.

My thermos of hot tea and bites of a late lunch

are not nearly as nourishing as is this gift.

“Andy be careful!” a mother calls to her child

when he approaches the wispy edge.

Perhaps this is her first visit.

Perhaps she thinks that below

that vital meeting place of slope and cloud

lies a steep cliff

and below that an icy lake

or a storm-tossed sea

or, at the very least, an unknown–

dragons perhaps.

I think of calling across to tell her all is well

but sometimes we each must

find our own way.

Three geese fly across, dark silhouettes against the shimmering white,

heading west around the south end of the mountain.

Shortly they return, wing north,

swerve again to the west and disappear behind the trees.



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