you can’t see a thing up top –
We waited half an hour, he went on –
pressing his frustration on us,
then gave up.
We paused listening
wondering if we should go with his experience
or make our own
wondering if this weather report was relevant
to what brought us here to climb the peak
this Monday afternoon
this last day of vacation
before turning to home.
Do you come for the view or to make the climb?
Come to get out in the woods or reach your destination?
Come because you know where you are going or to find out where it all leads?
Thanks, but we need the exercise, my nephew offered.
We turned, moved on.
Kept on climbing the rutted trail
over gnarled roots,
granite rocks covered with green moss,
trillium and alderberry,
the river far below – until the trail turned from the river,
leading us off further
deeper into the woods,
steadily higher, higher
climbing on to the summit
where we stepped out of the trees, and the wall of white lifted before us
revealing the valley below, the lake, and road from which we came, the railroad line
this great crest of a green valley the memory of which
brought us here.
the man at the rock outcropping says, stirring his pot of brown soup,
the raven circling above.
I don’t know where it all leads – or what the summit will reveal —
and sometimes, have no need
but to keep on climbing in anticipation of whatever’s there –
the fog, the clearing,
the what might be and what might come next.
August 16, 2018