Poem for February

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CLIMBING

I like to go
sometimes
up the quiet mountain.

I climb over rocks
scattered before me
like huge, white stepping stones.

I grapple their smooth, elusive grip.
I scale hungry chasms
stumble past towering trees

woven tightly like thatch.
They disorient me
obscure my vision

entice me with their endless gentle green.
I hasten on
refuse the lure to linger.

On my way
a river confronts me
severs my path.

I stare into it boldly
see my drawn reflection
in its clear, sparkling sheen.

I drink.
Then, defiant, I ford
the angry waters

I reach a snow-covered valley.
It slopes gently
up the rugged cliffs

that stand between me
and the essence
of my obscure desire.

The cold provokes me
the wind warns.
I press on through the deep blinding snow.

Sometimes
I reach the top —
when I can –

sometimes

because the sky calls
because the sun warms my soul
because the light lifts me beyond my trodden shadow.

 

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